An attorney for the Redskins said yesterday the club would try to arrive at an amicable solution with retired players Pat Fisher and Bob Brunet, who are seeking remuneration after suffering career-ending injuries in 1977.
Fischer wants $37,500; Brunet $30,000.
"We will examine the situation very closely to see if there are special circumstances in the cases of Pat and Bob," said Larry Lucchino, general counsel of the Redskins. "The rule is clear, but Pat, Bob and other Redskins are entitled to close examinations of the issue."
Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the players'organisation and the NFL Management Council, Fischer and Brunet are not entitled to compensation this year because when injured neither was under contractual agreements covering 1978.
The injury protection clause of the players-NFL agreement states if a player is injured and cannot pass his physical the following season, he is entitled to half his salary of the preceding season - up to $37,500.
However, the player must be covered contractually through the next season when injured.
Fischer's salary last season was about $100,000: Brunet's $60,000.
Fischer was on the option year of his contract in 1977, although he says he intended to sign a new contract at training camp last summer. But he was injured and did not, so technically he played out his option in 1977.
Brunet, because he was a veteran player, chose to sign a contract last year that did not include an option year (1978).
"I did it, but I had no idea that injury protection thing was involved." Brunet said. "Who thinks about getting hurt?"
Fischer said yesterday he was a victim of circumstance and he intended to sign a contract once he reported to training camp last summer "just like I do every year.
"Then I got hurt early in camp and it never got done. I'm bot blaming anyone. I had other things on my mind, like trying to get healthy. I never thought I wouldn't get well and play. I wasn't threatening play out my option. That's ridiculous. Where else would I go?"
Fischer said he is considering filing a grievance with the Player-Club Relations Committee: Brunet said he has not decided what action to take.
"I haven't talked to the Redskins at all," said Fischer, who has been in contact with the NFL Players Association. Brunet also indicated he had not contacted the club.
Ed Garvey, the NFLPA's executive director, said the union was prepared to file grievances for both players but, "We're still trying to resolve it amicably with management. Chuck Sullivan (new chairman of the Management Council) is supposed to talk to Edward Bennett Williams (Redskin president) this week.
"Maybe the Redskins will voluntarily do it. If there are any two guys in the NFL who symbolize players making sacrifices for their team and their teammates, it's Fischer and Brunet. It would be a lousy way for them to go out.
"I can't imagine the Redskins would turn them down for that amount of money."
Willians was not available for comment.