It wasn't the first time that Beathard had given up so much to acquire an unheralded wide receiver he deeply coveted. In 1996 he traded San Diego's 1997 first-round pick—also to Tampa Bay—so he could move up nine spots and get Still, who had 74 receptions during a nondescript career at Virginia Tech. In his first three seasons in San Diego, Still caught 73 passes; this year he had eight receptions.
"I wish we had the Still pick to do all over again," Beathard says. "We found out he didn't love the game. On Ryan, I may be naive, but I still think there's a way to get the talent out of him."
Beathard's contract runs through 2001, and club president Dean Spanos has been supportive of him. However, after a 4-1 start the Chargers dropped their fifth straight game on Sunday, losing 23-20 in overtime to the Bears. If San Diego doesn't turn things around, Spanos might have to reconsider.
Deion Explores Return to Reds
Though his agent has been discussing a return to the Reds with Cincinnati management, Deion Sanders has no support from his football employers on the matter of resuming his baseball career. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has bitten his tongue more than once so as not to alienate Deion during his flights of baseball fancy, is peeved that Sanders—who has missed 10 football games over the past three seasons because of injury and is currently struggling to make it through games with a strained groin—would further challenge his 32-year-old body. "We would prefer that Deion play only football," is about all Jones would say last Saturday when asked about Sanders, who last played baseball in 1997....
A source familiar with the league's investigation into salary-cap violations by the 49ers and the Steelers says that commissioner Paul Tagliabue will probably dock those teams draft choices if, as expected, they are found guilty of skirting the cap. In addition the former maestro of San Francisco's cap, Browns president Carmen Policy, will most likely get a hefty fine, the source said....
The hottest coaching rumor has embattled Redskins coach Norv Turner replacing Chan Gailey next year in Dallas, where Turner was offensive coordinator from 1991 through '93. If that happens, Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman will have to convince his teammates that he's not the team's general manager....
Steelers tackle Wayne Gandy had the following take on his team's postseason chances after a 16-10 loss to Tennessee dropped Pittsburgh to 5-5: "We have six to go. There are no real world-beaters on our schedule." Only the 9-1 Jaguars and the 8-2 Titans.
The End Zone
You Are What You Eat
Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski, a noted supplement freak, has begun testing his urine and stool samples to "see if there's anything else, any other supplement, I can take to help myself" get an edge on the field.