Redskin coach George Allen said yesterday the landmark labor agreement between NFL owners and players "is not going to change my philosophy or my program one bit."
"The winners will still win," he said, "and the losers will still lose.I think it's a good, fair plan. Now we've got to go out and learn a whole new set of rules and regulations."
When he learns more about one particular new rules - the compensation one team pays to another for signing a man playing out his option - he may not be very happy.
The agreement requires payment in draft choices, ranging from a No. 3 pick for a player in the $50,000 to $60,000 salary range to two No. 1s for one who gets more than $200,000. The new rule says that those draft choices must be awarded in the same year as the free agent is signed.
Allen said his understanding of the rule was that the years, and possibly the picks, would still be negotiable.
"If I want to sign a guy from Seattle, say his parents live here, his job is here and he wants to come, and we have a second pick next year instead of this year. I think we could work it out with Seattle, mabe throw in a fourth-round pick and two No. 3s, something like that. I'm sure its negotiable. You couldn't have something like that, you'd be back in court again," Allen said.
Terry Bledsoe, assistant executive director of the management council, said the new rule was quite specific.
"If you are able to make a trade to get the pick, fine," said Bledsoe. "But section 13 of the agreement says if a club does not have the future choice or choices that year, you may not sign that man. It's very clear in the agreement.
"The only exception is the two No. 1 choices, where you'd obviously only have one a year. Then you'd give them one this year and one next."
Allen said he was pleased over the increased squad limit, up by two to a 43-man roster and two-man move list, and said he was relieved to be able to go to training camp without the threat of a strike botching his preparations.
Allen also predicted less movement of players in the future, fewer trades of draft picks and players, and fewer men playing out their options.
"You'll also see players being more realistic in their demands because if a player asks for too much money, the other club won't want to pay a heavy price in salary and draft picks to his old team," he said. "It will hurt the higher-priced player."
Allen also predicted the new draft of 12 rounds instead of 17 would lead to fierce and somewhat costly competition to sign players who normally would have been drafted.
"In the past we never gave much in the way of bonuses of free agents," he said. "But now you'll have guys getting offers from 12 to 15 clubs. Some clubs will say the heck with it and let them go. No, we won't. We're going after players as if it were a 17-round draft.
"The lesser-paid player is benefiting and I guess that's the purpose of the whole thing," he said. "The less you make, the more chance you have to bargain.
"The Redskins have to do four things. We have to sign the good free agents who have a chance to make the club, not the guys playing out their option, I mean the younger college players.
"We have to improve the players we have now. We have to have a good draft, and we will. In the past, we've outdrafted clubs with all their pikcs and we'll do it again.
"And I'll still be in the market for a good trade or the possibility of signing a guy who played out his option."
Allen also refused to discuss his contract situation with the club. "I don't know a thing," he said, "You'll have to take to Ed (team president Edward Bennett Williams).Until you asked me. I hadn't even thought about it. I'm not concerned. I'd rather not even comment about."
Williams was not available.