George Starke, the starting offensive right tackle of the Washington Redskins, missed practice yesterday in a contract dispute with the team.
Starke will be fined by the Redkins $500 a day for each day he stays away from practice.
In other personnel developments, quarterback Billy Kilmer said yesterday he had reached agreement on a new contract with the Redskins.
Kilmer said he spoke with Redskin president Edward Bennett Williams on Sunday. "I think we're pretty well set on it. Yes. I'm happy with it. We've got no problems," Kilmer said.
Kilmer is believed to have agreed to one-year contract in the $160,000-a-year range.
Williams also met yesterday with Ed Keating, the agent for Joe Theismann, who was also grumbling about contract problems and trying to recover from a fever that climbed as high as 104 degrees, forcing him to miss most of a two-hour workout.
"The Redskins just don't seem to be showing a great deal of interest," said Theismann, "If the Redskins had any plans for me, they could have let me know a long time ago.
"But we've gone all through the preseason to now, a week when you're supposed to be thinking football all the time - at least that's what they keep telling us. Why they wait until now is completely beyond me."
Neither Keatings nor Williams was available to comment, though Theismann said again he would be seriously considering a $1 million offer to return to his first professional team, the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League.
"I don't know if I'm going to play out my option or what I'll do." Theismann said. "But I'm 28 years old, and when somebody says to you 'How'd you like to work the next three or four years for a million dollars," I'd sure have to consider it."
Starke, a starter since 1974 whose name had never surfaced on any list of the Redskins' unsigned players this year, spent yesterday doing some carpentry work in his new home in contract signed, that's all." he said.
"I just haven't seemed to get my Northwest Washington.
"It's been five or six weeks since I agreed to terms.
"I've been under a lot of pressure in the preseason playing without a contract, I talked to (Tim) Temerario (Allen's executive assistant) this morning I just told him I'd have to take some time to think about it because I was unhappy about not signing my contract.
"I don't understand the problem. I agreed to a contract figure a long time ago and they never produced it for me to sign."
Starke, who does not have an agent, said yesterday he had reached an agreement in August with Dick Myers. Allen's administrative assistant, but that apparently team president Williams vetoed the deal.
Allen said yesterday that Starke "has been offered a fair contract, multiyear, and he thinks he should have more." Starke, however, disagreed.
"We had an agreement, and that's all I'm asking for," he said. "I assume we'll talk again in the morning. Obviously, I want to come back. I didn't go through the whole preseason not to play football. It's not to anybody's advantage to draw this out."
That was precisely what Allen was saying after yesterday's workout."This is a fine time to be missing practice," Allen fumed. "It's disappointing he would think this way the week before the opener."
With Starke absent, reserve center Bob Kuziel ran in his spot at right tackle. If Starke decides to prolong his holdout, Allen said he might consider reactivating either Pete Solverson or Mike Hughes, both cut in the last two weeks.
With Kilmer's contract problems settled, and the cut yesterday of veterans Jerry Smith and Brig Owens, the Redskins have a total of eight players on the option years of their contracts.
They include Starke, Theismann, Len Hauss, Chris Hanburger, Bill Brundige, Ron McDole, Pat Fischer and Pete Wysocki. All would receive an automatic 10 per cent pay increase under terms of the recent collective bargaining agreement, then become free agents next winter.
Allen's game plan, particularly with his older veterans nearing the end of their careers, apparently is to allow them to play out their options and move quietly into retirement.
That was the approach the club took with wide receiver Roy Jefferson. The Redskins never made him another offer after he played out his option in 1976, and no other team was interested because of Jefferson's advanced age and high salary. He is now retired.
Hauss met yesterday with Temerio and reported that "we made a little progress." Temerario declined to comment on any of the contract negotiations, and Allen said, "I don't think there are any other problems as far as I know.
"But the way problems are all you have to do is turn up and you've got another one. If it's not one thing, it's another."