Anderson, Chargers Reach Verbal Agreement

Times Staff Writer

One week after withdrawing a contract proposal to Gary Anderson, the Chargers appear to be on the verge of signing the running back/wide receiver, who has spent the last three years in the United States Football League.

Anderson has agreed to terms on a four-year, $2 million contract, with a $350,000 buy-out of his existing contract with the Tampa Bay Bandits.

Alex Spanos, the Charger owner, said Monday he views the chances of signing Anderson this week as 50-50. But Lee Scarfone, who has an option to buy the Tampa Bay franchise from John Bassett, put the odds at 80-20 in favor of the deal being completed.

A possible barrier is the need for Anderson to clear USFL waivers. Actually, he may not have to, because there’s a clause in his contract which specifically excludes the waiver process, according to Scarfone.

“I expect the league to permit a gracious release,” Scarfone said. “I just don’t see the merit of the league requiring him to stay.”


It was intervention by Scarfone last week, after Spanos withdrew a four year, $1.7 million proposal, that resurrected the talks. Scarfone agreed to accept $150,000 less in a buyout of the contract, meaning he would get $350,000, and Spanos agreed to add an extra $150,000 to his offer to Anderson.

Spanos said Monday a tentative agreement has been reached and it could be solidified as early as Wednesday. “I’d love to believe this could happen this week, because I really want to sign the kid,” Spanos said.

The Chargers have been pursuing Anderson ever since drafting him on the first round of the 1983 draft. Anderson is viewed as one of the two or three top offensive threats in the USFL and a player who would make a major impact on the San Diego offense.

Scarfone said he doesn’t want to stand in the way of Anderson’s personal needs and opportunity to land a new contract with the Chargers.