The New England Patriots acquired quarterback Doug Flutie, who won the Heisman Trophy at Boston College, from the Chicago Bears yesterday for an undisclosed draft choice.

The Patriots said Flutie is expected to play Sunday against the Oilers in Houston (assuming the NFL is still using replacement rosters).

"We're trying to do everything we can to win under the circumstances," Patriots Coach Raymond Berry said. "We need to improve our quarterback play."

With Bob Bleier, the Patriots had 43 yards passing Sunday against Buffalo.

Berry said the Patriots, who have three quarterbacks on their active roster, will keep four after the players strike ends. Bob Woolf, Flutie's attorney, said the Patriots are optimistic rosters will be expanded from 45 to 49 players after the strike.

Woolf said the Patriots received permission from the Bears to talk with Flutie and called the player Monday night. Flutie, who grew up in the Boston area, then contacted Woolf.

"We had about 40 conversations with the Patriots," Woolf said.

They involved Flutie's desire not to displace any of the Patriots' regular quarterbacks -- Tony Eason, Steve Grogan and Tom Ramsey -- and Flutie's insistence that the Patriots were the only team he would accept a trade to during the strike, Woolf said.

The big Chicago moment for Flutie, a USFL veteran, was quarterbacking the Bears in last seasons' NFC semifinal loss to the Washington Redskins . . .

John Unitas and Bart Starr will be inducted into the Quarterback Club of Washington's National Quarterback Hall of Fame at the club's 22nd anniversary black-tie awards dinner Feb. 27. The dinner, to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, will be at the Washington Hilton.

Unitas and Starr will join Sid Luckman, Sammy Baugh, Otto Graham and Bobby Layne as members of the hall. Starr, who led Green Bay to victory in the first two Super Bowls, is part of a Phoenix group seeking an NFL expansion franchise.

Reminiscing at a Quarterback Club news conference here about his Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, Starr said, "I liked his style {from the start}. He was a no-nonsense person, very direct, extremely well organized and disciplined. I grew up in an atmosphere like that." Starr's father was an Air Force master sergeant, "much tougher than Coach Lombardi -- by far."