The Los Angeles Rams traded yesterday for punter-place kicker Tom Skladany, reflecting new Coach George Allen's concern with special teams.
The deal is conditional upon the Rams being able to sign the former Ohio State All-American by 5 p.m. tomorrow. He was the Cleveland Browns' No. 2 pick in the 1977 draft but did not sign because of a contract dispute and did not play.
If he signs with the Rams, they will give the Browns a No. 3 choice for the May 2-3 draft and at third-round choice for 1979, with another condition. If Skladany is among the top three National Football League punters in 1978, the Rams will give the Browns a second-round choice for 1979 instead of the No. 3.
Allen's team has two No. 3 draft picks for 1978, one obtained as part of the Redskins' deal for offensive tackle Tim Stokes when Allen was coaching in Washington.
In fact, the Rams have seven of the Redskins' choices in the next four drafts.
Skladany had a 42.7-yard punting average at Ohio State and led the nation as a junior with a 46.7 average.
In 1976 he replaced Tom Klaban as the Buckeyes' place kicker and made eight of 23 tries the longest successful one 46 yards. He also made 35 if 37 extra-point kicks.
Glen Walker, The Rams' punter, last season, had a 35.2-yard average. Place kicker Rafaek Septien made good on 18 of 29 field-goal attempts and 32 of 35 extra points.
If Skladany could handle both punting and place kicking for the Rams it might enable Allen to carry three backs - Pat Haden, Roman Gabriel and Vince Ferragamo - for the expanded 16-game regular season.
The San Francisco 49ers traded veteran free safety Ralph McGill to the New Orleans Saints for fullback Greg Boykin yesterday.
McGill, 28, joined the 49ers in 1972 and has started at free safety since 1974. As a rookie, he tied the NFL record for most punts returned in one game with nine for 109 yards. His longest punt return was 54 yards and he has intercepted seven passes for 128 yards.
Boykin, 25, was on New Orleans' special teams as a rookie last year. The 6-foot, 225-pounder holds the rushing record at Northwestern with 2,465 yards.
Also yesterday, the New York Giants signed veteran defensive end Jack Gregory to his 12th and 13th NFL seasons. Gregory was the third Giant veteran to sign this week, joining defensive tackle John Mendenall and running back Bobby Hammond.