Montana finished, teammate says

The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Safety David Whitmore, who came to the Kansas City Chiefs from San Francisco in the Joe Montana trade, said yesterday he thinks the four-time Super Bowl winner is through.

''He's probably done, that's all I can say. I have to be careful what I say,'' Whitmore told WIBW-TV in Topeka, Kan.

''I talked to him last night. There's a lot of things he's real unhappy about with the organization and things of that nature.''

Montana, 38, has been the subject of several reports quoting unidentified sources saying he intends to retire. He has one year left on the three-year contract he signed in 1993 after two years of inactivity in San Francisco, where he'd lost his job to Steve Young.

The San Jose Mercury News on Sunday said Montana is calling it quits ''because he knows Kansas City isn't going to the Super Bowl."

''There's probably a lot of truth to that,'' Whitmore said. ''I hate to see Joe go. I think it will be something he should announce.''

A Chiefs spokesman said team president Carl Peterson talked to Montana a few days ago ''and he never made any comments regarding the organization. None whatsoever.''

''I would dispute David Whitmore on that,'' Bob Moore told The Associated Press. ''Joe's never made any indication he's upset with the organization.''

Coach Marty Schottenheimer said last week the club was just waiting to hear from Montana, but assumes he would play a 17th season.

Last week, the Contra Costa Times reported Montana had scheduled radical career-ending knee surgery. The surgery was not performed, although Mercury News sources told the paper it is scheduled later this year.

''It's getting ridiculous,'' Moore said of the newspaper reports. ''We've been talking about this since last November. It does get very, very tiring.''

Tom Condon, Montana's agent, was traveling yesterday and not immediately available for comment.

The Chiefs set a team record by giving up just 19 sacks last year and Montana, unlike in 1993, stayed relatively injury-free. But Whitmore indicated Montana may be concerned about the team's title prospects.

''We are struggling,'' Whitmore said. ''When a guy gets to the point in his career Joe's reached, he's not playing for anything but championships. He's already achieved everything else. You get in a situation where you've got that doubt, it's time to let it go.''

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