The Los Angeles Rams have a series rooting interest in a new colletive bargaining agreement that is being considered for ratification today by the NFL Players Association and the club owners.
The proposed retention of a draft, even though modified, would mean that the Rams would be cashing in draft choices for hih-grade college players as far ahead as 1980 from deals with the Redskins.
The reinstatement of a compensation clause, or Rozelle Rule, though also modified, could also give the Rams draft choices in exchange for four veterans who played out their options last season - wide receiver Harold Jackson, quarterback Ron Jaworski, linebacker Jack Reynolds, and place kicker Tom Dempsey. All four become free agents May 1.
The Rams have extra choices for a 1977 draft - a No. 2 from San Diego for defensive end Leroy Jones; a No. 3 from San Diego for tight end Pat Curran; a No. 4 from New Orleans for defensive end Ken Bordelon; a No. 5 from the Redskins for running back Larry Smith, and a No. 6 from Denver for defensive tackle Phil Olsen.
In 1978, the Rams are due Nos. 2, 3 and 4 choices from the Redskins for offensive tackle Tim Stokes and a No. 5 for him in 1979. In 1980, the Redskins owe No. 2 and 3 for guard Dan Nugent.
An irony is that Stokes played out his option last season with the Redskins and has not yet signed a new contract.
The Redskins scored coups in 1976 by signing several veterans who had played out their options while the Rozelle Rule was suspended pending a court appeal - running backs John Riggins and Calvin Hill, tight end Jean Fugett, guard Ernie Janet, and quarterback Pat Sullivan. The Redskins did not have to compensate other clubs for them with no Rozelle Rule in effect.
The Redskins would have benefited without future drafts because they would have had the veterans without paving for them with draft choices.
By the same token, the Redskins will also benefit with future drafts because of coach George Allen's philosophy of tradding them for veteran players.
It would be difficult for him to trade off as easily veterans close to the restaurant phase with high salaries accrued over the years.
Now, Allen would be able to trade again for veyerans with draft choices, particularly those veterans who play out their options.
The difference this year from last, if there is a modified Rozelle Rule, is that the Redskins would have to give up a predetermined price for a veteran who played out his option. based on the player's salary. As mentioned above, they had to give up no compensation in 1976.
About 40 veterans played out their options last season and will become free agents on May 1 if they do not rejoin their 1976 employers.
Among some of the other better known are tight end Richard Caster, defensive tackle Ed Galigher, and offensive tackle Winston Hill of the New York Jets; tight end Charles Young of Philadelphia, defensive tackle Randy Crowder of Miami, safety Bryant Salter of Baltimore, line backet Brad Van Pelt and guard Doug Van Horn of the New York Gaints, placekicker Steve Mike-Mayer of San Francisco, ad wide receiver Don Clune of Seattle.
Besides Stokes, guard Paul Laaveg, wide receiver Roy Jefferson and linebacker Harold McLinton of the Redskins have announced they are playing out their options.