| ||Associated Press|
SAN DIEGO -- Todd Marinovich and Ryan Leaf won't be
teammates, after all.
After obtaining two quarterbacks from obscure colleges, the San
Diego Chargers dropped their interest in Marinovich, who was hoping
for a comeback after eight seasons away from the NFL.
Marinovich, whose career has been even more troubled than
Leaf's, worked out for the Chargers on Thursday, impressing them
with his accuracy and release.
"As we said then, it was an exploratory meeting," general
manager Bobby Beathard said Monday. "We were very impressed with
But after picking up two rookies and hearing from the agent for
Sherdrick Bonner, who was on San Diego's roster late last season,
"we don't want to be unfair and get too many people in there,"
The Chargers took JuJuan Seider from Division I-AA Florida A&M
in the sixth round of the draft Sunday, then agreed to terms
with free agent quarterback Mike Burton of Division III Trinity
University of San Antonio. Burton went to high school in La
Marinovich, who was the No. 1 draft choice of the Raiders in
1991 but was released before the 1993 season, is the backup
quarterback for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football
League. He was a backup for the CFL's British Columbia Lions last
Marinovich spent three months in jail in early 1998 after
pleading guilty to growing marijuana.
The Chargers need the extra quarterbacks for minicamp April
28-30 because of continuing concerns about Leaf, who is
experiencing discomfort after a second surgery on his right
Leaf returned to the team's headquarters Monday to continue his
rehabilitation. He hadn't been seen at the complex in about a
month, since fullback Fred McCrary sharply criticized him for being
overweight and out of shape.
When asked when Leaf will begin throwing again, Beathard said:
"I don't have a clue. We'll handle that when we get to that
Bonner has chosen to play for Arizona of the Arena League, whose
season ends about two weeks before the start of training camp in
July. But Beathard said there's a chance Bonner will come over for
a few days. Bonner threw seven touchdown passes in Arizona's
season-opening victory Saturday night.
The only veterans on San Diego's roster who can throw right now
are 37-year-old Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno, who's started just
one NFL game.
Burton's family apparently is acquainted with the family of
Chargers owner Alex Spanos. Spanos had a videotape of Burton and
passed it on to Beathard through his son, club president Dean
Burton deserved the shot, Beathard said.
"He really looks good on tape. He's a good guy to have in here.
At the time, I didn't realize he was a local kid."
Burton set 16 school records at Trinity and tied another. He
threw for 2,413 yards and 25 touchdowns last year, and for 11,833
yards and 112 TDs in his career.
After serving as a backup at West Virginia for three seasons,
Seider had a sensational senior season at Florida A&M, throwing for
27 touchdowns and running for 14 more, and leading the Rattlers
into the I-AA semifinals.