- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 13, 2000

The Washington Redskins yesterday submitted their first formal contract proposal to rookie offensive tackle Chris Samuels, the third overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Redskins faxed the proposal to agent Jimmy Sexton, league sources said. Sexton submitted his proposal late last month during his last face-to-face meeting with Joe Mendes, the team's chief negotiator and player development director.

Terms of both proposals were unclear last night. The sides are believed to be negotiating a deal of seven years, with incentives that would allow the seventh to be voided, with a signing bonus of approximately $10 million. Sexton, reached yesterday in Chicago, declined comment on the Redskins' proposal.

Mendes was back in Washington yesterday after another trip to Houston and further negotiations there with Carl and Kevin Poston, agents of unsigned rookie linebacker LaVar Arrington.

Meanwhile, Arrington, the draft's second pick, is hoping not to hold out from next week's training camp, Arrington's father said yesterday.

"He's ready to get going," said Michael Arrington, reached at the family's home outside Pittsburgh. "He's excited about playing. It's just a matter of getting all his ducks in a row. He's looking forward to the season."

Arrington is believed to be seeking a signing bonus larger than the one received by top pick Courtney Brown from Cleveland.

Brown, a teammate of Arrington's at Penn State, received a $10 million signing bonus and $900,000 reporting bonus and a $45 million contract spanning six years. Peter Warrick of Florida State, the draft's No. 4 pick, signed a six-year deal for $42 million.

"[LaVar] feels confident that it's going to work out," Michael Arrington said.

Signed Redskins rookies must report to Washington Sunday to begin their early session of camp Monday. The main portion of camp, with all the veterans, begins next Thursday. The Redskins have focused recent negotiations on Arrington, league sources have said, because the team assumed Samuels would fall into place after Arrington.

Now the team may be turning to Samuels and unsigned veteran running back Stephen Davis, the franchise player, as talks with Arrington appear to have stalled.

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 then had a brief conversation with the team Tuesday.

Arrington has been living at his parents' home since returning from Washington after last month's quarterback schools, his father said. Arrington was not home yesterday, however, having gone to State College, Pa., to visit friends.

"He follows [the negotiations] as much as he can," Michael Arrington said. "He keeps in contact with his agents, but he leaves the details [to] them."

There was no progress in Davis' negotiations yesterday, agent Steve Weinberg said from Dallas. The sides have not spoken in several weeks, and talks are not expected to resume until the weekend, because the Redskins would lose the franchise tag for the life of Davis' contract if he signed before Saturday.

The Redskins have offered Davis a deal that includes a $5 million signing bonus and heavy incentives, but Davis will not accept that offer or the one-year, $3.532 million tender offer, league sources have said.

Rookie quarterback Todd Husak, a sixth-round selection, also remains unsigned but league sources have said he is not a threat to hold out. Husak is hoping to get a two-year deal, instead of the more standard three- or four-year deal.

Note: Redskins fullback Mike Sellers was incorrectly reported yesterday as having received a deferred sentence of community service for his DWI conviction Tuesday. Sellers actually was sentenced to 180 days in jail, all suspended. Thus Sellers will not serve any time if he abides by the conditions of the court's ruling.

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