On the day after the trade Beathard had no buyer's remorse. Since Super Bowl XXIX three years ago, when the upstart Chargers got shellacked by the 49ers, his team is 21-28, and quarterback Stan Humphries has retired. "Had we gotten Douglas and Wadsworth," Beathard says, "that means we don't get the quarterback So maybe if we're 4-12 next year, we have another chance to pick a great quarterback—if there is one. But if we're 4-12 next year, maybe I'm not around to do the picking. Did we overpay? Shoot, we all overpay in this game now. For everything."
If the Colts take the University of Tennessee's Manning, then Leaf, the Washington State quarterback and a big Chargers' fan, would be thrilled. The added pressure of a team's trading a large chunk of its future for him doesn't seem to faze Leaf. "If there's more pressure, I welcome it," he says. "My mom and my coach have always said I'm at my best when I'm backed into a corner."
If the quarterback San Diego selects doesn't pan out, this could be the last megadeal by a guy once regarded as the smartest personnel man in football. It was suggested to Beathard last Friday that he had paid too dearly in this deal. As sure as he has ever been about anything, he replied, "You'll be wrong."
The Jury's Still Out
Marshall sophomore wide receiver Randy Moss, the enigma of the first round because of his troubled past, had an impressive workout for the handful of NFL teams who watched him go through drills at his school last Friday. In a 25� windchill, Moss ran the 40 in 4.31, 4.35 and 4.44 seconds—superb times even in ideal conditions. But his performance the night before at a dinner with Bears coach Dave Wannstedt may have been better. "He made a great impression," Wannstedt says. "Well-dressed, polite, smart. The big question is whether he's grown up, and nothing showed up negatively in our two days there."
The Bears draft fifth, followed by the Rams and the Saints. New Orleans talent evaluators also left West Virginia impressed, but St. Louis was a no-show. "He's not on our draft board," Rams coach Dick Vermeil said last week, citing the three black marks on Moss's r�sum�: a guilty plea to two counts of battery when he was in high school, a positive marijuana test in college and a 1996 incident in which he and his former girlfriend were arrested for domestic battery. "There are too many things in his career that lead you to believe you might not get a good return on your investment," says Vermeil, who last season, his first with the Rams, waived talented but troubled second-year running back Lawrence Phillips.
With a nod to Moss's 174 catches for 3,529 yards and 54 touchdowns over two college seasons, Wannstedt counters, "Our scouts say he's the best receiver to come out of college in the last 30 years."
Douglas a Good Fit for Eagles
The Eagles did well in getting Hugh Douglas, an orphan of the Jets' 3-4 defense, for second-and fifth-round picks. "Hugh likes the 4-3," says Philadelphia coach Ray Rhodes, who uses a four-man line. "He's comfortable playing on the edges with his technique and power."
...At the league's annual meetings next week in Orlando, instant replay is on the agenda—again—and proponents hope they can sell a system that assesses a five-yard penalty against a team asking for a replay that doesn't change an official's ruling....