St. Louis Cardinal owner Bill Bidwill has decided to file a grievance with the National Football League's Player-Club Relations Committee to prevent the Washington Redskins from signing fullback Jim Otis, it was learned last night.
Bidwill was not available for comment, but Ed Garvey, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said he had been informed Bidwill probably will file the grievance over the weekend.
Bidwill will contend the five-year contract the Redskins offered Otis is not acceptable because the salary for each of the last two years falls below the NFL minimum of $32,000.
Otis played out his option with the Cardinals in 1977, and the Redskins offered a contract for $80,000 in 1978 and 1979, $79,000 in 1980 and $30,000 for 1981 and 1982. The offer was structured that way so the Redskins would not have to compensate the Cardinals with a third-round draft choice.
However, Bidwill contends the Redskin's dollar package is illegal and apparently will ask the PCRC, established in last year's collective bargaining agreement to settle intraleague disputes, to settle the issue.
The PCRC is a committee made up of two players, Len Hauss of the Redskins and Gene Upshaw of Oakland, and two members of management, Dan Rooney of the Steelers and Wellington Mara of the Giants. Hauss most likely will disqualify himself and Upshaw will get two votes in the deliberations. If there is a deadlock, the issue would go to an arbitrator.