The discouraging news for the Redskins is that retroactive compensation is back on the agenda for the National Football League meeting beginning Tuesday in New York City.
The encouraging prospect is that a new nose-count indicates the Redskins will bot have to reimburse other clubs for signing John Riggins, Calvin Hill, Jean Fugett, Pat Sullivan and Ernie Janet as free agents after they played out option years while the Rozelle Rule was suspended.
The issue was discussed by the club owners at their meeting in March in Phoenix without action being taken.
Since then a new collective bargaining agreement was reached with the NFL Players Association, which provides for a restored, but modified, Rozelle Rule.
A club losing an option playout to another club now ill receive compensation in predetermined draft choices, raning from a third-round pick to two consecutive first-round choices, depending on salary terms with his new team.
The Redskins picked up support against retroactive compensation from teams which feared the Miami Dolphins might pick up as many as five first-round draft choices under the new formula.
The Dolphins lost larry Csonka, Paul Warfield and Jim Kiick. Presumably, Csonka and Warfield received salaries from the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, respectively, which would require their new employers to give up two No. 1 draft choices each.
Kiick, who was signed by Denver, probably received a salary that would bring the Dolphins at least one No. 1 choice.
The prospect of coach Don Shula getting five No. 1 Picks within two seasons panicked rivals in the AFC Eastern Division.
The Redskins would be the biggest victim. Allen likely would have to come up with two No. 1 draft choices to the New York Jets for Riggins, who demanded $300,000 a season for five years.
Hill's salary is estimated to between $125,000 and $200,000, thus requiring that the Cowboys be compensated with a No. 1 and No. 2 choice. Fugett's salary is estimated to be between $75,000 and $125,000 requiring a No. 1 choice to the Cowboys for him.
Former Heisman Trophy quarterback Sullivan probaby fell in the same brakcet, meaning the Atlanta Falcons would be due No. 1 pick. Guard Janet would probaby bring the Philadelphia Eagles a No. 3 pick, with a salary between $50,000 and $65,000.
There would be a complicating factor: the Redskins do not keep high draft choices long enough to have them snatched away by league rulings.
Before the meeting in Phoenix, owner Wellington Mara of the Giants volunteered to compensate the Dolphins for Csonka as a moral obligation. Art Modell of the Browns was willing to reimburse the Dolphins for Warfield.
Tex Schramm of the Cowboys said he would compensate the Redskins for signing Duane Thomas and the Giants for signing Ron Johnson, but only if the Redskins paid for signing Hill and Fugett.
Allen's position is that it's illegal to demand compensation now. He says he would not have signed Riggins, Hill, Fugett, Sullivan and Janet if he had known he would have had to give compensation later.
Mara reportedly has switched view points since the Phoneix meeting and is now against retroactive compensation.
Among those now believed to be for it are Miami (naturally), Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Dallas and St. Louis.
Commissioner Pete Rozelle had hoped the clubs would work out something on compensation.
Executive director Jim Kensil has resigned from NFL office to be come president of the Jets and may be ready to vote against compensation since that club is in the same division as the Dolphins.
Oakland definitely is against compensation, along with the Redskins, Phiadelphia, Minnesota, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, New England, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Kansas City, Seattle and Tampa Bay.