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SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Return specialist Tamarick Vanover, who spent two months in jail for his role in a stolen car case, agreed to a one-year, $525,000 contract with the San Diego Chargers.

If he makes the team, Vanover will be reunited with Marty Schottenheimer, who coached Vanover for four of his five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and is now the Chargers' coach.

``He's made some very poor decisions in some things, but he's really a good person and he was interested in getting back into the NFL,'' said Schottenheimer, who also gave Vanover a workout last fall when Schottenheimer was coaching Washington.

Vanover was sentenced in November 2000 to two months in jail, two months of home detention and three years of supervision after pleading guilty to one federal count of aiding and abetting the sale of a stolen vehicle that crossed state lines.

He was also fined $10,000 and ordered to pay restitution of $6,241 to an insurance company.

The Chiefs cut Vanover in April 2000 after it was revealed that he admitted to an FBI agent that he gave former Chiefs running back Bam Morris $40,000 to buy marijuana.

Vanover was told in August by NFL officials that if he returned to the league, he faces disciplinary action that would likely include a fine, but not a suspension.

Schottenheimer, trying to turn around a Chargers team that's gone 6-26 the last two seasons, believes Vanover has learned a lesson.

``He's a young man who I believe has learned that `No' is an appropriate answer to people who are a part of your circle and you better be very careful with people who represent themselves to being your friends,'' Schottenheimer said.

Vanover will compete for a job as a returner and also as the fourth or fifth wide receiver, Schottenheimer said.