Talk With Beathard Settles Thompson : Chargers: Offensive lineman signs contract, ends holdout after clearing the air in talk with general manager.


Maybe Charger General Manager Bobby Beathard should pull his telephone out of the wall. He’s doing a lot better without it these days.

Beathard on Tuesday signed holdout right tackle Broderick Thompson to a one-year contract after meeting with him Monday.

Saturday, Beathard struck a three-year deal with first-round draft pick Stanley Richard after a face-to-face meeting with Richard and his lawyer Chris Knepp.


Both signings followed weeks of phone conversations between the agents and the Charger general manager.

Thompson, 6 feet 5 1/2 and 295 pounds, a seventh-year player from Kansas, said finally speaking with Beathard in person made the difference.

“It made me feel a lot better about the whole situation,” said Thompson, who was in uniform for afternoon practice. “I had a few raps on me. (Beathard) found out where I was coming from.”

Said Beathard: “Getting together helped. We had a long talk Monday. We made our feelings known.”

Beathard said Thompson called him Tuesday and announced he was ready to sign.

During their Monday meeting, Thompson said he cleared the air on quite a few misconceptions that Beathard and some coaches had of him.

“The rap against me was that I was lazy, had a bad attitude and that I think I’m better than everybody else,” he said, “But most of that comes from me being shy.”

The negotiations appeared to be enhanced by the absence of Jeff Irwin, Thompson’s agent.

“I think meeting directly with Bobby was better than going through a third party,” Thompson said. “But the groundwork was laid. The key was talking to him and dispelling all those myths.”

Thompson said the myths were carried on by his former coaches, whom he declined to name. Before coming to the Chargers in 1987, Thompson played for two USFL teams and the Dallas Cowboys.

“It hurt me to know that people are saying those things against you,” he said. “You do worry about how you are perceived.”

Thompson’s present coach, Dan Henning, was asked what the coaching staff’s perceptions were of Thompson.

“That’s nobody’s business except the coaching staff’s and Broderick’s,” Henning said.

Thompson, who will turn 31 next Wednesday, did not disclose the terms of the one-year contract, except to say he was awarded a substantial raise. Last year, Thompson made $295,000.

“I’m never totally pleased, because you always want to break the bank,” he said.

Thompson said both parties agreed on a one-year contract.

“Those are the best kind,” Thompson said. “If I go to the Pro Bowl this year, just think what I can sign for?”

After playing four seasons at guard, Thompson was switched to tackle last year, where he allowed only 1 1/2 sacks and helped Marion Butts rush for 1,225 yards.

“The sky’s the limit this year,” Thompson said. “Tackle’s made for me. I’ve got a year under my belt. I hope to be better than last year. My goal this year is not to allow a sack.”

Beathard said Thompson reporting to camp should help revitalize a banged up offensive line.

“He will bring us more stability,” Beathard said. “With the injuries, this won’t force some people to play that should get some rest.”

With Thompson’s signing, the Chargers will have to cut a player before practice today.

Beathard said there is nothing new on the holdouts by Butts and defensive lineman Lee Williams. But Beathard did say he talked with Houston General Manager Mike Holovak about Williams.

“We mentioned some players, but we left it at that,” Beathard said. “I told him before we did something that we’d give him a call.”

The Chargers will be tested for steroids by the NFL this morning. If a player tests positive, he will notified by the league office Aug. 18. . . . Tuesday ended two days of scrimmages with the Houston Oilers. Tonight, the team will practice at Mesa College beginning at 7:30. . . . Henning was asked if any players stood out during the two days of scrimmages. “That guy Moon looked pretty good,” Henning said of Oiler quarterback Warren Moon.