- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 12, 2000

The Washington Redskins have not submitted a formal contract proposal to rookie offensive tackle Chris Samuels, the third player chosen in this year's NFL Draft.
League sources confirmed the lack of a formal offer to Samuels yesterday, which was perhaps due to the push to sign fellow rookie LaVar Arrington, the linebacker who was the draft's No. 2 overall pick.
Signed rookies are required to report to Washington on Sunday, and they begin their early session of training camp Monday. Full-squad camp begins July 20.
Meanwhile, Redskins running back Mike Sellers pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated yesterday in Arlington County (Va.) General District Court. Sellers was assessed a $1,500 fine, $1,200 of which was suspended, and received 180 days of suspended jail time.
Samuels' agent, Jimmy Sexton, met with Redskins chief negotiator Joe Mendes late last month and did not speak to the team again until a brief conversation took place yesterday, league sources said. Sexton submitted a written proposal during the meeting last month, but the Redskins never submitted one back.
Last night, a league source said a written proposal from the Redskins is expected within the next few days. The exact terms of Sexton's proposal are not clear, but the sides are expected to negotiate a signing bonus of approximately $10 million.
The Redskins believe Samuels' contract will fall in line after Arrington signs, league sources said, which is why they have focused on signing Arrington first. However, Sexton said Monday that Samuels is not waiting for Arrington's deal to be completed, adding, "We would be more than happy to sign the right deal if it was placed in front of Chris."
Sexton, reached yesterday in Franklin, Tenn., where he and partner Kyle Rote were attending the funeral of client Fred Lane, declined comment.
Mendes, the Redskins' player development director, spent most of last week in Houston negotiating Arrington's contract with agents Carl and Kevin Poston. No agreement was reached, and Arrington is believed to be seeking a signing bonus of more than $11 million. Courtney Brown, the No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland, received approximately a $10 million signing bonus and $900,000 reporting bonus.
Both Samuels and Arrington have been absent this week from the contingent of rookies at Redskin Park.
Reached yesterday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he attended the University of Alabama, Samuels said he was confident a deal will be struck by Monday.
"I think it's going to happen," Samuels said. "[Sexton] has told me he's confident."
Asked if he felt slighted by the Redskins' push to sign Arrington first, Samuels replied, "I wouldn't say that. The only thing is that my agent and the Redskins have to come to an agreement… . I'm really not worried about it."
Samuels' mother, Shirley, reached in Mobile, Ala., said Samuels "is really anxious," and that the Redskins "haven't even given Chris an offer."
"He wants to play," Shirley Samuels said. "He wants to get it done."
Redskins veteran running back Stephen Davis, the team's franchise player, also remains unsigned. Davis has been offered a contract that includes a $5 million bonus and heavy incentives, league sources have said, but he will not accept that deal or the one-year tender offer of $3.532 million.
Sellers, 24, was driving a 2000 Mercedes sedan about 3 a.m. May 13 when he was arrested. He was traveling westbound on Interstate 66 in Arlington when a police officer observed him weaving.
The NFL had no comment yesterday on Sellers' conviction, but its substance-abuse policy says Sellers could be fined nearly $11,000. A first-time offender can be fined as much as one-half of one regular-season game check for an alcohol-related violation, up to $20,000.
Sellers' prior record is confidential. Prosecuting attorney Valerie Preiss said Sellers was prosecuted as a first-time offender, which means he at least has no prior convictions in Virginia. Preiss also said Sellers' attorney used the potential NFL fine to argue for a lesser fine in court.
The driving privileges of Sellers, who has a Washington state license, were suspended in Virginia, but he may apply to have them reinstated for work-related purposes. Sellers also must enroll in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, in accordance with state law, and the Redskins have said they will set up counseling for him, in accordance with NFL policy.

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