The following day
Bassett offered Anderson that four-year, $1.375 million contract—a deal that
included an immediate interest-free loan of up to $275,000, a $500,000 signing
bonus ($200,000 up front, the rest deferred until 1987) and annual salaries of
$125,000, $175,000, $225,000 and $350,000, the first three years fully
waited, Argovitz spoke on the phone to San Diego General Manager John R.
Sanders and gave him a "final" proposal: a guaranteed $975,000 for
three years ($450,000 signing bonus; salaries of $125,000, $175,000 and
$225,000). Argovitz said Sanders refused.
made a handshake agreement with Bassett that he would sign a Tampa Bay contract
on May 9. Argovitz said he advised Anderson to return to Columbia and have his
phone calls screened. "I went back home, didn't answer no calls or
nothing," Anderson testified. That same day, the USFL approved the Argovitz
group as owners of the Houston franchise, which was not an expansion franchise
and thus had nothing to do with Bassett's committee.
Charger officials became frantic. Klein testified that when Anderson didn't
answer their calls, he ordered Sanders to "send out a dragnet. Have people
call the boy's mother. Have the coach call the boy's coach at Arkansas. Have
the players, the other Arkansas players that we drafted, call Fayetteville,
anyplace they can try to locate the boy."
Argovitz, but the agent denied any knowledge of Anderson's whereabouts—a denial
that was challenged by King during the taking of Argovitz' deposition.
"You, in fact, knew where he was, didn't you?"
Q. "You lied
A. "If you
want to call it lying. You call it what you want to call it. I was protecting
made a misstatement to Mr. Sanders, didn't you?"