The Oakland Invaders, who reached the U.S. Football League championship game last month, are expected to be disbanded, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The newspaper said sources in both the USFL and the National Football League indicate the club's majority owner, Alfred Taubman, plans to fold the team that was merged last year with his 1983 champion Michigan Panthers and lost this year's title game to the Baltimore Stars. Receiver Anthony Carter, the highest-paid among only 10 players still under contract to Oakland, will be released in the next few days, most front-office personnel were fired last month and the coaches have been told to look for other jobs, the Chronicle said.
The paper, quoting a source, said Taubman "doesn't want to be stuck with a lot of player contracts" and by getting rid of the players first, wouldn't owe any money if he shuts down the franchise.
Neither Taubman nor minority partner Tad Taube could be reached for comment.
Carter, meanwhile, appears close to signing with the Minnesota Vikings, who made a trade Thursday with Miami for his NFL rights. Mike Lynn, Vikings' general manager, introduced Carter at halftime of the Minnesota-Pittsburgh exhibition in Minneapolis and said he already has ordered him a Vikings jersey -- "We'll put No. 1 (his Invaders number) on him until the NFL orders us to take it off."