One or more of the four Washington Redskins, who played out their options last season, may become free agents today.
Paul Laaveg, Tim Stokes, Harold McLinton, and Roy Jefferson have played out their option years and the Redskins had until today to make a "qualifying offer" to them.
Tim Temerario, executive assistant to general manager-coach George Allen, said that not all were made qualifying offers.
Offensive tackle Stokes said from his home in Eugene, Ore that he had been made an offer by the Redskins and thought he might be back, although he is eligible to deal with any of the other 27 clubs.
The other three veterans were not available.
A salary war threatens with 48 NFL veterans having played out their options.
Temerario said that Greg Hartle, a linebacker with the St. Louis Cardinals last season who is available now, visited Redskin Park last week and probably was given a physical examination.
However, Temerario did not know if Hartle was made an offer by the Redskins because Allen is handling the case and the coach is out of town.
The Cardinals announced yesterday they had made an offer to try to keep Hartle, and five of the other six St. Louis veterans who played out their options.
The others tendered offers were defensive backs Norm Thompson and Clarence Duren, defensive end Bob Bell, guard Keith Wortman and line-backer Ray White. Running back Eddie Moss was not made an offer.
The Baltimore Colts made an offer to safety Bryant Salter.
Temerario said at least a dozen players from other clubs have communicated with the Redskins, some through their agents.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association, the clubs must make qualifying offers based on length of service or forfeit the right to match the offers of other clubs or to collect compensation if a new club signs an option playout.
Hartle, a three-season veteran, was offered at least $30,000 by the Cardinals under the formula.
To qualify for the right to match another club's offer the old club must offer at least $30,000 to a player with less than four years' experience; $40, 000 for four years; $45,000 for five years and $5,000 each for every additional year. Hence the term "qualifying offer."
If Hartle receives a better offer from another team before April 15, the Cardinals have the right to match it and keep Hartle.
If the Cardinals do not match another team's offer, St. Louis will be compensated with a draft choice or choices based on how much the new club offers Hartle.
Compensation ranges from a third-round draft choice for a player in a $50,000 to $60,000 salary bracket to two No. 1 choices for a player getting a salary of $200,000 or more.