Tim Stokes, the Redskins' missing left tackie, said today his contract problems with the club may be resolved "in the next day or two" and that "I'm shooting to be in camp as soon as possible."
Stokes, who played out his option last year and cannot practice until he signs a new contract, said from his home in Eugene, Ore., that "for the first time in over a year, I think we're seriously getting there.
"I think there's been flexibility on both sides. They're still set in their basic salary offer, but they're offering some new performance clauses I wanted, and I'm re-evaluating my position.
"But I think things are ready to break open. I really do want to be in camp. I'm ready to play football."
And so, too, apparently is Reggie Haynes, the rookie tight end from Nevada-Las Vegas represented by Los Angeles attorney Howard Slusher, the same agent handling Stokes' negotiations.
Haynes reported to the Redskins training camp late this afternoon, and George Allen said he ready had agreed to terms. "He can't come on the practice field until he signs, but that shouldn't be a problem," Allen said. "He's missed so much now, it's ridiculous. But at least he's here, that's a first step."
Allen said his last telephone call to Haynes - an ultimatum - was the reason the seventh-round pick decided to report. He also spoke to Stokes early this morning, offering to let him come to Carlisle to attend meeting, watch films and hold face-to-face discussions with Redskin negotiators.
Stokes said that ' is something I'm still considering, but it may not be necessary."
Allen said he told Stokes, "Let's have one of our representatives meet you somewhere and not do this by telephone."
"We're doing everthing we can," Allen told reporters after a single practice session this afternoon. "We've made him a very fine offer, and we've changed a few things he wanted. Basically it's the same offer, with what he liked in the way of possible incentives."
The Redskins had been offering Stokes a $50,000 base contract this season, with an additional $10,000 in rather easily attainable performance clauses. Stokes reportedly was seeking a $75,000 base salary.
In case the negotiations bog down again, though, Allen was taking no chances today.
As expected, he moved Terry Hermeling from right guard to his old left tackle position - a switch Hermeling prefers not to make - and put third-year man Dan Nugent at right guard with the first unit.
"We've got to get ready, we can't wait any more," Allen said. Then, spotting Hermeling walking out of the locker room, he called out, "We'll get you back there (at guard), don't worry, Terry."
Allen had other causes for concern today, mostly over an ever increasing list of nagging minor injuries. The latest victim was safety and kick return specialist Eddie Brown, who pulled a groin muscle today in a one-on-one drill trying to cover tight end Jerry Smith.
"The only thing you can do for that is rest," Allen told Brown. "But you've got to make a big play against Cleveland (in the Redskins preseason opener agaisnt the Browns on the night of Aug. 8)."
Quarterback Billy Kilmer took another day off, resting his sore right shoulder. The injury has been diagnosesd as tendinitis, and Allen said it was too early to tell if Kilmer would sit out the first preseason game.
"I'll rest him as long as we have to," Allen said, "If there's any doubt. I won't play him. We'll treat Mike Thomas the same way."
Thomas, one of a half-dozen players suffering from strained or slightly pulled muscles, once again stood around and watched practice, though Allen said the little running back seemed to be coming around.
Also hobbling today were running backs Bob Brunet and Willie Spencer, safety Jake Scott, wide receivers Brian Fryer and Kevin Farrell, kicker Mark Meseley and defensive tackle Curtis Akins. All have minor pulls or twists, and should be available for the Browns.
The Redskins cut four players today, all free agents, paring the roster to 82 players. Waived this morning were tackles Mark Grayless, Baylor, and Phil Clabo, Tennessee; guard Chirs Davis, Nevada-Las Vegas and defensive end Roosevelt Manning, Northeast Oklahoma ... tight end Jean Fugett was looking for a chiropractor to fix what he described as a "training camp back" though he was able to start and finish practice. "It's just a little knot in the vertebrae, nothing serious," he said ... Charley Taylor made a diving catch of a Joe Theismann pass in a 7-on-7 drill and several of his teammates called out "welcome back." Taylor suffered a severe shoulder injury last preseason making a similar catch ... Crack security man ED (Double O) Boynton today told a reporter and a ball boy to stop throwing a football because "it might distract them from practice." It was a slow day at the fence.