A strange saga is unfolding involving Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Marc Wilson.

Wilson has been touted by new head coach Mike Shanahan as the team's No. 1 quarterback. But Friday, L.A. put Wilson on waivers, making him a free agent without compensation.

Reportedly, Wilson was waived because of a contract dispute. He has just finished a multiyear guaranteed contract that earned him $1 million in 1987. Through the efforts of his agent Wilson received the deal in the midst of the NFL's battle against the U.S. Football League.

By league rule, the Raiders either had to tender Wilson an automatic 10 percent increase (1.1 million) or put him on waivers. Because of the guarantee in the previous contract, the 10 percent increase also would have had to be guaranteed.

If Wilson is picked up on waivers, his new team must accept his present contract. If he goes through waivers, teams can negotiate his contract downward and he can take the best offer.

Sources say the Raiders offered Wilson $600,000, unguaranteed, for next season.