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Chargers Will Not Offer Contract to Laufenberg for the 1989 Season

April 19, 1989|Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Babe Laufenberg, the free-agent quarterback who started the first six games for the San Diego Chargers last season, will not be offered a contract for the 1989 season, team spokesman Bill Johnston said.

Laufenberg, 29, becomes a free agent again, a status he is familiar with after being released eight times by four teams since his 1983 National Football League entry as a sixth-round draft choice of the Washington Redskins.

"I am disappointed," Laufenberg said, "but I'm not bitter. In effect, they fired me. This is what I do for a living. But I didn't make the big plays last year. I would like to have had a second chance."

Laufenberg emerged from a 1988 training camp competition against Mark Vlasic and Mark Malone as the Chargers' starting quarterback. Dan Fouts, San Diego's quarterback for 15 years, announced his retirement after the 1987 season.

Last year was the first in which Laufenberg threw a pass during a regular-season game. He completed 61 of 126 passes for 703 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.

The Chargers were 2-4 with Laufenberg starting. Malone finished the season as the starter for San Diego, 6-10 in 1988, after Vlasic suffered a severe knee injury.

Malone was the league's lowest-rated quarterback for the second consecutive year.

Charger Coach Dan Henning, who succeeded the fired Al Saunders, has said he wants to improve the quarterback situation either through the draft or by trade.

San Diego has the eighth overall pick in Sunday's college draft.

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