The rumors proliferate about possible trades by which NFL rivals might relieve the Seattle Seahawks of their first-round draft pick and make Tony Dorsett their own. And the expansion team is all ears; the Seahawks may want 6-foot-5, 270-pound Mike Butter, Coolidge (D.C.) High's pride before and since he set the Big Eight football world afire, more than they want the all-everything Mr. T.D. from Pitt.
The club already has flown Butler, Kansas' senior defensive tackle, to Seattle for a look-see. And if some of aforesaid rumors have any meat on their bones, the Seahawks could team the surefire frontfour prospect with an established player or two as prime material in a defensive line that would be the envy of many established NFL outfits.
The Dallas Cowboys admit they're talked with both Seattle and Tampa Bay about obtaining either team's No. 1 draft pick (the Buccaneers select first, Seahawks second). The Hill-less, Thomas-less Cowboys haven't denied they'd like to use it for a running back. Preferably, initialed T.D. Or, spelled Ricky Bell.
What the Cowboys haven't said, but what has arisen in speculation, is that they might give up, for instance, Too Tall Jones and Randy White. Another report has the Pittsburgh Steelers danglinga ll-pro defensive end L.C. Greenwood and offensive lineman Gerry Mullins.
Only gossip? Seahawk general manager John Thompson says, "Yes, we have had offers . . . On the other hand, the best offers we've had are those we've seen in print." Got to have something to chew on until the May 3 draft, don't we, fans? . . .
Rumors. They're circulating the rumor around Cleveland that Frank Robinson is on his way out as manager. A six-game losing string this early will start such talk. So will apparent dissension in the form of designated hitter Rico Carty Publicly criticizing the manager - who was sitting next to him while Carty was addressing the dinner at which Rico was being honored as the Indian's Man of the Year 1976. Not only did the club let Carty go to Toronto in the expansion draft man of the year or no, before reclaiming him in a later trade, but Robinson benched him when his 1977 batting average settled at .200. Said the 36-year-old "Big Mon" from the Dominican Republic, "They talk about the leader of the team; they mention this player, that player. Who is the best leader of the team? It's the manager. When he leads, we got a ball club . . . We need your help, Frank. If you don't help, we'll all be in trouble."
Art Modell, Cleveland Browns owner, wants to help the Indians in his own way - he plans to discuss with NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle the possibility of his taking a major role in operating the pinched baseball club he shares the stadium with. Modell is limited by an NFL rule that he helped draft while league president a few years ago, which prohibits a football owner from serving as primary owner or operating head of a franchise in any other major sport . . .