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Chargers Land Bahr, Super Bowl Hero Smith With Final Signings

April 02, 1989| Staff and Wire Reports

SAN DIEGO — Timmy Smith, who rushed for a record 204 yards in the Washington Redskins' 1988 Super Bowl victory over Denver, was one of four unrestricted free agents signed by the Chargers Saturday.

The signings, before Saturday's 9 p.m. deadline, gave the Chargers 11 free agent additions.

The Chargers also signed a former Raider for the second consecutive day, grabbing kicker Chris Bahr after acquiring tight end Andy Parker Friday. They also picked up former Redskin wide receiver/kick return Eric Yarber and former Phoenix Cardinal free safety Lester Lyles.

Smith set the Super Bowl rushing mark on 22 carries and scored twice as the Redskins beat the Broncos, 42-10, at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. Smith, a 1987 fifth-round draft choice out to Texas Tech, gained 470 yards and scored three touchdowns on 155 carries in 1988.

Bahr, 36, leaves as the No. 2 scorer in Raider history, (817 points to George Blanda's 863) and rarely missed from inside the 30. He has played 13 seasons in the NFL, the past 10 with the Raiders.

He hit 18 of 29 field goal tries last year. But he has struggled on longer kicks in the past three seasons (he was 10 for 21 outside the 30 in 1988), and the club began looking harder at outsiders. John Lee was brought in during the last training camp, cut and then invited back when Bahr got off to a slow start. The 44-yarder Bahr kicked at the end of regulation of the Raiders' overtime victory at Denver was thought to have saved his job.

The Raiders reportedly have signed another kicker, free agent Jeff Jaeger from the Cleveland Browns, although the club hasn't made any announcement.

Yarber spent the past three seasons with the Redskins after being drafted out of Idaho in the 12th round in 1986. A knee injury kept him on injured reserve in 1988.

Lyles intercepted two passes for the Cardinals last year. He played three seasons with the New York Jets after being picked in the second round of the 1985 draft out of Virginia. He has seven career interceptions.

The Chargers other free agent signings included tight end Joe Caravello, former Ram linebacker Jim Collins, tackle Brett Miller, tackle Joel Patton, defensive back Johnny Thomas and guard Larry Williams.

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