Veteran Atlanta Falcons quarterback Steve Bartkowski, who has been told he must retire or be released after 10 1/2 years with the National Football League team, says he is ready for his "final farewell. It's either be waived or retire, and I'm considering which route to go," Bartkowski said. "I'm not angry and I'm not bitter."

Bartkowski, who led the NFL with a 67.3 percent completion rate last year, was benched after the Falcons lost their first five games of the season. The 32-year-old quarterback has had knee problems throughout his career, most recently chronic pain in his right knee . . .

San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos said Coach Don Coryell's job is safe until at least the end of the current season. The statement should end speculation that Coryell, in his eighth season as coach of the American Football Conference team, was in imminent danger of being fired.

Spanos said he would consider anything less than an 8-8 finish unsatisfactory. San Diego is currently 3-4 . . .

The Cincinnati Bengals, who have a 2-5 record, have no plans to fire Coach Sam Wyche, Bengals management said. Mike Brown, the team's assistant general manager, said the Bengals plan to retain Wyche beyond this season. "He's got a contract that goes out well into the future and we expect he'll fulfill it," Brown said. "The coach doesn't fumble and he doesn't drop passes."