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Mix-Up Stalls Negotiations for Benson

September 06, 1987|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — The Chargers aren't seeing eye-to-eye with Steve Feldman, linebacker Thomas Benson's agent.

Steve Ortmayer, director of football operations, invited Feldman to Friday night's Charger-Jet exhibition game, but they failed to meet. Ortmayer sat in his private box, and Feldman sat in another private box. It was a mix-up that hardly helped the negotiations.

"I have to admit I was pretty mad," Feldman said Saturday.

According to Feldman, Ortmayer left him two tickets with a note that said: "I'll stop by at halftime." But Ortmayer didn't show, not at halftime, not in the second half and not after the game.

"I waited 45 minutes after the game and went home," Feldman said. "If he invites me down, you'd figure he'd try to find me."

Ortmayer, meanwhile, said Saturday he was in his office waiting for Feldman after the game.

The two finally spoke Saturday evening. They negotiated over the phone, though no agreement was reached by 10:30 p.m. Feldman said he and his client are asking for $300,000 a year, and Ortmayer wants to pay Benson $230,000 a year.

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