In a trade outside the option playout procedure, the Buffalo Bills received a No. 1 draft choice, two No. 2 choice, a No. 3 and a No. 4 from the San Francisco 49ers for O.J. Simpson.
Would you believe that Howard Slusher, who represents John Dutton of the Baltimore Colts, expected the defensive end to receive enough salary from another club to result in the Colts receiving two No. 1 draft choices.
The trouble is that option playout Dutton did not receive a written offer for $200,000 or more, although there were quite a few clubs interested in him.
"If Dutton is not in that class, who is?" Slusher asks.
Both the Seattle Seahawks and Slusher agree that they were "close" to a deal. General Manager John Thompson of the Seahaws says they were "very close to total agreement but it never was finalized." He declined to explain why.
Slusher said they were "close" to a deal but insisted he did not know why it was not completed. He said Minnesota and Seattle also had talked about making conventional trades for Dutton before the deadline passed for clubs to make written offers option-playouts under the compsensation procedure.
Slusher said the talks with Minnesota did not get around to "numbers (salary)." He said Miami called him often about making a deal and that Oakland, San Diego, and St. Louis also were "interested." He added, "a lot of clubs must have been interested."
"There was a lot of talk but no offer sheets," Slusher said. "Two clubs offered verbally about the same as the Colts did in their qualifying bid.
"I received no bids for Carl Barzilauskas (New York Jets), Gordon Gravelle (New York Giants) or Tom Brahaney (St. Louis)."
Dutton now is limited to accepting the Colt's last best offer, hoping they might increase it to make him happy, accept an automatic 19 percent increase and become a free agent after 1978, quite playing, or jump to the Canadian Football League.