Just before he was about to leave El Cajon to go on a fishing trip Friday afternoon, wide receiver Tim Smith learned he had been traded from the Houston Oilers to the Chargers for an undisclosed 1988 draft choice.
"This is really a happy day for me," said Smith, a seven-year National Football League veteran who grew up in San Diego, attended St. Augustine High and lives in El Cajon during the off-season.
Smith, 30, caught 83 passes in 1983, 69 in 1984 and 46 in 1985. During that stretch, he started 45 of 48 games. Last season, when he didn't start any games, Smith caught only four passes in 13 games.
"After last year, I expected something to happen as far as a trade," Smith said. "I just didn't play. You hate sitting on the bench. It's tough not to get to play when you've been doing the job."
"We're not well-acquainted with Tim Smith," said Steve Ortmayer, Charger director of football operations, "but we know his capabilities. This was a chance to pick up a proven wide receiver with experience. With Charlie (Joiner) retiring and him (Smith) being a possession receiver, it seemed like a worthwhile thing to do."