- The Washington Times - Friday, March 16, 2001

Brett Conway stood in the Redskin Park lobby in late September and let his former employer have it.

"I think there's some problems here," Conway said of the Washington Redskins. "We've got some guys injured, and there's a lot of finger-pointing going on right now. I don't know how they could blame me… . It's a shame it had to go like this because I had a lot of loyalty to the team."

That outburst came after Conway learned from his agent, not the club that he was being placed on injured reserve for a strained quadriceps. In effect, he was being cut despite missing just one game. The Redskins, eager to get on with their $100 million season, had no time for a kicker with a cranky quad.

Seven losses and four kickers later, they have found time. Conway, 26, signed a three-year, $2.1 million contract yesterday to play for new coach Marty Schottenheimer just six months after accusing the Redskins of doing "bad business."

"Brett always liked the Redskins organization," agent Jack Reale said last night from Atlanta. "I think his problem was with the departed personnel director [Vinny Cerrato] or the coach [Norv Turner] because they would not wait for him to heal… . With Marty in there now, I think Brett is really excited."

To make room for Conway under the salary cap, the Redskins rescinded their tender offer to fullback Mike Sellers, who had been signed to a virtually unmatchable offer sheet Wednesday by the Cleveland Browns. Sellers' 2001 cap figure for the Browns is $1.25 million. The Redskins receive no compensation because Sellers entered the league as an undrafted free agent.

Conway will receive a $225,000 signing bonus and $15,000 workout bonus on top of a $448,000 base salary, making his cap figure $538,000 and leaving the Redskins with $119,000 of space. Conway's deal includes a $200,000 roster bonus in 2003 that could influence the club to extend his contract before that season.

Free agent kicker John Carney canceled his trip to Washington late Wednesday when informed of Conway's impending pact. Carney, who turns 37 next month, is one of the NFL's most prolific kickers with a career field goal percentage of 80.9.

Conway, a 1997 third-round pick by Green Bay, has hit 73.7 percent of his attempts. He made 22 of 32 tries (68.7 percent) in 1999 and all six last season. That perfect clip included three for the Redskins, one for the Oakland Raiders and two for the New York Jets.

In the Redskins' 8-8 disappointment, their other four kickers Michael Husted, Kris Heppner, Eddie Murray and Scott Bentley combined to hit 17 of 27 field goals. In 1999, Conway connected on 19 of 23 attempts inside 50 yards, with two blocked.

The Redskins still need a punter but are likely to move less quickly. They have contacted the agent of former Jacksonville Pro Bowl selection Bryan Barker but have yet to show interest in either incumbent Tommy Barnhardt or free agent Todd Sauerbrun, lately of Kansas City.

Note The Redskins will continue their search for a training camp site with a visit to Hampden-Sydney (Va.) College next week. Team officials visited Bowie State on Wednesday, and athletic director Charles Davis said upgrading the locker rooms and weight rooms shouldn't be troublesome.

"For the dollars the Redskins would invest, it's not so much they would blink," Davis said. "The Redskins were very diplomatic not lukewarm or overly excited. There would need to be some things done for them to come, but we have hope."

The Redskins also are interested in William & Mary, Gettysburg College, Dickinson College and the University of Richmond, each of which recently provided secondary information for playing host to camp. Schottenheimer, who has been unavailable all week, expects a decision by month's end.

• Staff writer Rick Snider contributed to this report.


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