- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 5, 2000

Remaining the Washington Redskins' offensive mainstay will earn running back Stephen Davis about $20 million over the next three seasons.
In a wide-ranging deal that's heavily performance based, Davis will receive $90.75 million in salary over nine years with another $45 million in possible incentives. With a $7.5 million combined bonus after the one-year, $3.5 million contract with a $1 million bonus he signed July 22, Davis will count $2.8 million against the salary cap; $800,000 less than he did under the previous deal with the franchise tag.
Agent Steve Weinberg and team sources yesterday said Davis will earn $15.75 million over three years with reasonable incentives pushing it to $20 million and maximum incentives peaking at $32.55 million. Gaining more than 1,200 yards a season would trigger the bonus. However, Davis would lose money if he doesn't gain 800 yards.
"I'm big on incentives," Weinberg said. "They said 'Show us you can do it again.' "
Davis was relieved to sign the deal after negotiations over a 14-month span started at $3 million over three years and grew to only $15 million over five years with a $3 million bonus in January. The two sides talked briefly once in five months after the Redskins designated Davis their franchise player in February. However, Davis didn't want to hold out and missed only one day of practice before signing the one-year deal with the promise of a long-term pact.
"My main concern was I wanted to play football," he said. "Everything else would take care of itself. Contract or no contract, I was going to play."
That Redskins chief negotiator Joe Mendes abruptly departed July 24 delayed talks until last week, when player personnel director Vinny Cerrato and Weinberg met Friday at a Baltimore restaurant. Weinberg said the waiter thought the pair was discussing fantasy football. Weinberg claimed the deal nearly fell apart 30 minutes before the 4 p.m. Saturday deadline for it to take effect this season. Otherwise, the previous deal's incentives would have counted exclusively against this year's salary cap.

Dukes cut

Running back Chad Dukes was cut for the second time in eight days after suspended guard Tre Johnson's return ended a one-week roster exemption.
"There's no bad blood," Dukes said. "It's not easy, but I saw it coming. I just wish it hadn't. Hopefully, somebody noticed me and liked me and picks me up."
Coach Norv Turner considered releasing linebacker Reggie Givens, who was inactive Sunday, but decided injuries required more depth at linebacker.

Health watch

Fullback Mike Sellers will practice tomorrow and play against Detroit on Sunday after missing one game with a sore shoulder. Running back Skip Hicks (sprained knee) also will practice after missing two games.
The team's four receivers Albert Connell (strained rib), Michael Westbrook (sprained ankle), James Thrash (strained groin) and Irving Fryar (bruised calf) and defensive end Bruce Smith (sprained knee) will practice despite Turner's offer to give a day off to the latter.
"Bruce said 'I'll let you know in about a month when I need a Wednesday off,' " Turner said.

Extra points

Center Mark Fischer remains the starter, but guard Jay Leeuwenburg will practice some this week as Johnson's backup.
"We had a couple plays inside early where we struggled," Turner said, "but both Mark and Jay played extremely well through the last part of the second quarter and the second half." …
Linebacker Greg Jones remains the starter, but Turner said Arrington will play more in coming games.
"We're getting good production from both players, and we're creating a package for LaVar in the third-down rush scheme," Turner said. "He's made progress a lot like Champ [Bailey] did a year ago." …
Defensive end Marco Coleman, Smith and Davis received game balls.

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