Eddie Brown, the big play man and all-pro kick returner, signed a three-year contract with the Redskins yesterday. General Manager Bobby Beathard also said he "made some headway" in negotiations with quarterback Billy Kilmer.
As the advance guard of rookies, free agents and young veterans began gathering at Dickinson College for the opening of training camp tomorrow, Brown agreed to a contract that should boost his salary from among the lowest paid Redskins (around $27,000) a year ago to the $75,000-a-year range.
Beathard also met with Kilmer for 90 minutes yesterday in Reston, Va. He said they made progress "on a few things but we haven't come to an agreement. I'm going to concentrate on it the next few days and I told Billy we'd meet again on Monday."
Beathard said Kilmer still would like a two-year contract and "that's the big part of it right now. No, I wouldn't say we're fairly close. I would say we are close on the money but there are other things holding it up. I don't know if they can be resolved, but we will try.
"The good thing about the system is that if a man does play out his option, he still gets a good sized raise (10 percent). Billy would rather not play out his option. We would like to sign him to a contract. But if we can't come to an agreement, that (playing out his contract) certainly is one of the things he can do."
Kilmer is on the option year of a contract that calls for him to receive $220,000. With the 10 percent increase he would received a $22,000 raise.
Beathard described yesterday's meeting with the veteran quarterback as "very cordial, we have no problem talking at all. I really like the guy. There's nothing personal in this, we're talking about business."
In other developments, Beathard said he would meet with the attorney representing defensive tackle Dave Butz on Wednesday in hopes of settling his contract. He also indicated it seems likely that wide receiver Danny Buggs will play out his option this year. "I just don't think we can get together," Beathard said.
Meanwhile, Redskin Coach Jack Pardee arrived with his wife, Phyllis and four of their children. Pardee's family will probably spend the week in Carlisle, living in a Dickinson College guest house across the street from the team dormitory.
Pardee was acting as tour director for some of his assistant coaches yesterday at the college practice field. It was his first visit since he was an assistant coach under George Allen in 1973. "It hasn't changed except that they've added some facilities," he said. "It's just a great setup."
The coaching staff had a brief meeting last night and will meet again with the team after lunch today. A brief workout is set late this afternoon, with two-a-days beginning tomorrow morning.