The Philadelphia Eagles signed former New York Jets quarterback Pat Ryan yesterday as their new backup to Jim McMahon.
McMahon stepped into the No. 1 quarterback spot after Randall Cunningham injured his left knee against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. He is out for the season.
Cunningham will undergo surgery for his knee injury today, after seeing his family doctor in California, Eagles president Harry Gamble said last night.
Ryan agreed to a one-year contract with the team, the Eagles said. Other contract terms were not disclosed.
Ryan, who will be 37 on Sept. 16, played with the Jets from 1978 to 1989. He has been out of football since the Cleveland Browns cut him in preseason last year.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound veteran said he's been working as a general contractor building houses in Knoxville, Tenn., since being cut by the Browns.
Coach Rich Kotite said he also tried out three other quarterbacks -- Turk Schoenert, longtime backup with the Cincinnati Bengals; Scott Campbell, formerly with the Packers; and David Archer, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons.
Kotite said he plans to keep rookie Brad Goebel in the No. 3 slot.
Ryan, who played in college at Tennessee, completed 354 of 631 passes with the Jets for 4,222 yards. He threw 31 touchdowns and 31 interceptions. He spent most of his career in New York backing up Richard Todd and Ken O'Brien.
Ryan started 11 games for the Jets in 1984, his most productive with the club.
* A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., told NFL team owners yesterday to pay more than $18 million into a players' pension plan, but refused to order improved benefits for retired players.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a U.S. District Court order requiring the 28 NFL clubs to pay delinquent pension funds sought by the players.
But the three-judge panel reversed lower court findings that some pension plan trustees had breached their duties and that the court should set retirement benefits for players.
The judges also overturned the lower court's appointment of a special master to set pension improvements.
* DOLPHINS: Miami traded wide receiver Randal Hill, its first-round draft pick, to Phoenix for its top selection in next year's college draft.
The Dolphins had "an abundance of wide receivers and it would have been a luxury to carry six through the year," coach Don Shula said.
Hill, who signed with Miami on Aug. 6, played one game with the Dolphins. Sunday against Buffalo, he had one kickoff return for 33 yards.
* STEELERS: Pittsburgh signed tight end Keith Cash as the fifth member of its practice squad.