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Friday, March 13, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NFL -- Chargers Trade Up In Draft -- San Diego Wants Leaf Or Manning

AP: Cincinnati Enquirer

SAN DIEGO - It cost them plenty, but the San Diego Chargers assured themselves of getting Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf next month in the NFL draft.

Desperate for a starting quarterback, the Chargers made a blockbuster deal with Arizona yesterday to move from the third pick in the draft to the second, behind Indianapolis.

The Cardinals got San Diego's first- and second-round picks this year, its first-round pick in 1999, kick-returner Eric Metcalf and linebacker Patrick Sapp.

"I think the consensus of opinion is that two guys like (Manning and Leaf) don't come along very often," Charger General Manager Bobby Beathard said. "If we're going to be successful in getting that type of quarterback, we're going to have to give up something, and we really did."

Beathard said the Chargers have no preference on whether they get Manning or Leaf.

"Each one has the ingredients to be a top-level quarterback in this league," he said.

DILLON TO PLEAD NOT GUILTY

Cincinnati running back Corey Dillon's lawyer, Jesse Franklin, said his client plans to plead not guilty to driving under the influence and two other vehicular charges filed in Seattle.

Dillon, a former Washington Husky from Franklin High School, has denied he was drunk and contends he was harassed by police when stopped March 3.

Dillon is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Municipal Court on charges of DUI, negligent driving and driving with a suspended license.

NOTES

-- Defensive end Hugh Douglas was traded today by the New York Jets to the Philadelphia Eagles for second- and fifth-round draft choices.

-- The Jets extended quarterback Glenn Foley's contract through the 1999 season. He will make $1.5 million each of the next two seasons.

-- NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Cleveland likely will get an expansion franchise for 1999 rather than a relocated team.

-- Carolina center Frank Garcia, who had been a restricted free agent, agreed to a three-year, $4.3 million contract with the Panthers.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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