- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2000

With nine days left before training camp and just six before rookies begin their early session the Washington Redskins have gone several weeks without speaking to two of their three potential holdouts and remain far apart in negotiations with all three.
The Redskins have not talked with the agents of either running back Stephen Davis, the franchise player, or rookie offensive tackle Chris Samuels in recent weeks, and no negotiations are scheduled, league sources said yesterday. Meanwhile, the talks with rookie linebacker LaVar Arrington have yielded little progress, league sources said.
Samuels' agent, Jimmy Sexton, has not spoken with the team since submitting a contract proposal last month. Arrington's agents, Carl and Kevin Poston, spent last week negotiating with the Redskins and sought a bonus believed to be in excess of $11 million. Courtney Brown, the draft's No. 1 overall pick by Cleveland, received approximately a $10 million signing bonus and $900,000 reporting bonus.
Both Arrington, the No. 2 overall pick, and Samuels, the No. 3 pick, were absent from the contingent of rookies at Redskin Park yesterday. The rookies, who went on a tour of FedEx Field, begin their camp session Monday, three days before veterans participate in the main part of camp that is open to the public.
In other news, several details surfaced about the Redskins' recent contract offer to Davis. The proposal, in which Davis has had little interest, includes a number of incentives, some of which would count against the salary cap whether Davis reached them or not.
Specifically, the proposal includes a $2 million payout if Davis rushes for 1,200 yards this season, league sources said. Because Davis rushed for a team-record 1,405 yards last season, the incentive is considered reachable and thus it would count against the cap.
League sources also confirmed Davis has no interest in the one-year tender offer of $3.532 million.
The contract offer to Davis includes a $5 million signing bonus, approximately half of the $10 million bonus Davis is seeking, league sources have said. The proposal also includes a $1 million salary this season. Davis, a league source has said, considers the Redskins' $8 million bonus to free agent Deion Sanders a "benchmark for what he can get."
"The big question now becomes whether the Redskins will turn their attention to Stephen Davis," a league source said yesterday. "They have always said that they want to get the rookies signed before Stephen, but now it's becoming more apparent that that won't happen."
The Redskins are not expected to resume talks until Saturday between Davis' agent, Steve Weinberg, and the Redskins new negotiators on the deal, owner Dan Snyder and player personnel director Vinny Cerrato. Signing Davis before then would cause them to lose the franchise designation for the life of his contract.
Rookie quarterback Todd Husak, the only other unsigned Redskin, was with the rookies yesterday for the stadium tour. Husak is seeking a two-year contract instead of the more conventional three- and four-year deals, league sources said, because he wants to be able to negotiate a new contract if he eventually becomes the Redskins' backup.
This season Husak is projected to be the No. 3 quarterback behind Brad Johnson and Jeff George, the NFL's Nos. 5 and 3 rated passers last season, respectively. League sources said Husak is willing to accept a slightly lower bonus for a two-year deal but that he will not hold out.
Sexton said Samuels was in his home state of Alabama instead of Washington. Sexton added Samuels is not waiting for the Arrington deal to be completed before he signs.
"We would be more than happy to sign the right deal if it was placed in front of Chris," Sexton said.
Note The contract signed by free agent tight end Irv Smith yesterday was confirmed by league sources to be a one-year deal for $440,000, the minimum salary for veterans of five or more years. There was no signing bonus.

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