- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Washington Redskins fullback Mike Sellers, who was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated early Saturday morning, could be fined nearly $11,000 by the NFL if he's found guilty provided he has no previous offenses.

The NFL's substance abuse policy mandates first-time offenders can be fined as much as one-half of one regular-season game check for alcohol-related violations, up to $20,000. Sellers is signed for $358,000, the minimum for a third-year player. His previous record is confidential.

Sellers, 24, met with Redskins coach Norv Turner and director of player programs John Jefferson yesterday morning. The Redskins will issue no formal punishment, team officials said, but Turner made clear the seriousness with which the team regards Sellers' situation.

"It's something that we find very distasteful," Turner said. "It's something that should not occur… . This was an initial meeting to make sure [Sellers] knows this process has begun and that this is going to be an extensive process."

Sellers was traveling westbound on Interstate 66 in Arlington, Va., at about 3 a.m. when the incident occurred. A police officer observed him weaving while driving a 2000 Mercedes sedan. Sellers was released on his own recognizance; the Mercedes, which is not owned by Sellers, was impounded.

Sellers wanted to meet with the team yesterday but was told to wait until the next official team meeting, which will take place during the camp set to start May 30. Team officials urged Sellers to meet with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the meantime and to invite a MADD representative to his meeting with the team.

In addition, the Redskins will set up counseling for Sellers in accordance with league policy.

"We'll do everything in our power to keep this type of situation from happening again, whether it be with Mike or somebody else," Turner said.

Rookies return

Rookie left tackle Chris Samuels, still rehabilitating a strained right hamstring, lifted weights at Redskin Park yesterday, the first day rookies could return following their NFL-mandated departures after minicamp (April 28-30).

"His leg is much better," Turner said about Samuels, the draft's No. 3 pick overall. "He'll run tomorrow so we'll get a better feel for where he's at."

In addition to Samuels, Redskins trainers evaluated two other rookies fifth-round safety Quincy Sanders and seventh-round receiver Ethan Howell who also strained hamstrings during minicamp. All three players were feeling better but not 100 percent, according to head trainer Bubba Tyer.

Cowsette to sign

Seventh-round draft pick Delbert Cowsette, a defensive tackle from the University of Maryland, will sign a three-year contract tomorrow. The agreed deal is for $857,000 the rookie minimum salary, plus a $31,000 bonus. Cowsette, the first Redskins draftee to agree to terms, must overcome his size (6-foot-1, 274 pounds) to make the team.

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