Running back Mike Thomas, among 35 Redskins veterans to report to training camp yesterday, said he definitely will play out his option in 1978. He said negotiations on his new contract are officially over.
On a day when Coach Jack Pardee trimmed 15 players, including former Virginia quarterback Scott Gardner, Thomas elaborated for the first time on his contract situation with the club.
"I just didn't feel what they were trying to give me was any kind of a raise," he said after a brief, 45-minute workout in searing temperatures and heavy humidity. "It happens that way sometimes. I don't fault anybody, I don't want to go anywhere else, but if I have to, I will.
"I am definitely playing it out. I'm here, I'm ready to play and I don't want to talk about my contract. It's over, that's it. I know I'm going to have a good year. I've worked hard to stay healthy, and it's important for me to have a good year to help the Redskins win. That can only help me.
"Sure it's an incentive. If I have a good year, I'll get paid. Somewhere. But I don't feel any pressure on me. I don't think we're going to win. I know it. Everybody is in good spirits. The way Jack is running things, I know we'll have a great attitude."
A player playing out his option automatically gets a 10 percent raise. Thomas reportedly earned in the $125,000 a year range in 1977. After signing a one-year contract last summer, he held out for two days, pulled up lame with a hamstring problem the opening day of practice and limped to a subpar, injury-plagued season.
"That's over now," he said. "I plan to stay healthy. And I'm ready to play for the man. "I plThe Redskins were concerned about another vital member of their team who was not ready to play yesterday - defensive end Coy Bacon. Though he jogged around the field a few times. Bacon was not allowed to practice because the Redskins want to take a closer look at his injured left knee.
Bacon, acquired with cornerback Lemar Parrish from Cincinnati, had a ligament problem and missed two games with the Bengals last year. Pardee said team physician Stanford Lavine wanted Bacon to undergo further tests before allowing him to practice.
"The doctor didn't indicate there was any problem with it," Pardee said. "They're going to do it at the local (Carlisle) hospital Monday and he'll probably miss practice again . . . until we get the reports. We expect him back on Tuesday."
Bacon said there was absolutely nothing wrong with his knee. "I'm not worried about it. I've been running, playing tennis and basketball and there's been no problem. I hurt it last year when some guy clipped me. I guess they want me to check it out some more before I do anything. I'll be fine."
In other developments yesterday:
Defensive lineman Karl Lorch agreed to a new two-year contract, in the $70,000 a year range, and will sign the document this week.
The Redskins signed offensive tackle Pete Solverson to a contract. Solverson, who spent the 1976 season on the team's injured reserve list, was among the final cuts in 1977. He was not able to come to terms with Denver this summer, so the Broncos waived him last week. The Redskins signed him as a free agent.
"We need tackles," Pardee said. "We've been shorthanded there. Joe Walton (the offensive coordinator) felt he had a cance to make it. If he didn't have a chance, we wouldn't have brought him in," Solverson will play right tackle.
Veteran tight end Tom Mitchell, as expected, failed a physical because of a knee injury incurred a year ago in San Francisco. "Unless there was a drastic change for the better, we knew he couldn't pass it, " Pardee said. We were prepared for it."
It was reported that defensive tackle Perry Brooks, who suffered a sprained knee Friday, will probably be out action fron 10 days to three weeks, according to Lavine.
There were no suprises in the first major cut of camp. Gardner had an awful scrimmage against the Colts Saturday, and his release leaves two rookies - John Hurley of Santa Clara and Tim Ellis of Mississippi, battling for the backup position behind Billy Kilmer and Joe Theismann.
Yesterday's first practice involving most of the 80 players now on the roster was over in a flash. Kilmer directed the first unit that included Thomas and Clarence Harmon at running backs, Frank Grant and Danny Buggs at wide receivers and Jean Fugett at tight end.
There were two major changes on the offensive line, with Dan Nugent at right guard and Terry Hermeling moving from right guard to left tackle, a move Pardee made in the team's May minicamp. Tim Stokes, last year's starting offensive left tackle, was placed on the second unit.
The defense remained the same as a year ago, with Dennis Johnson and Ron McDole at the ends, Diron Talbert and Dave Butz at tackle, Chris Hanburger, Harold McLinton and Brad Dusek at the linebackers, Joe Lavender and Gerard Williams at the corners and Jake Scott and Ken Houston at safety, Parrish worked with the second unit secondary.
Punter Mike Bragg suffered muscle spasms in his back working out last week and will not be able to practice for several days. Second-year safety Mark Murphy left Philadelphia, at 9.30 a.m. yesterday, had two cars break down along the way and finally hitched a ride to Carlisle with some local residents he happened to meet in a rest area along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Because he called in and explained his problem, Pardee said he would not be fined . . .
Also placed on waivers yesterday were linebacker Mike Burris, Los Angeles Harbor, Junior College; safety Keith Jenkins, Cincinnati; running back Morris LaGrand, Tampa; kicker Ken McCarron, Westfield (Mass.) State; center Jim Weatherly (no college), and defensive ends Gerry Roberts, UCLA, and Ron Wade, California; Davis . . . The club said it would announce the remaining seven cuts today . . . Calvin Hill and John Riggins arrived in town minus beards, though Riggins still weighed in at 235. "I feel light," he said . . . The Redskins had a meeting last night and learned about Pardee's rules and fine structure . . . Veterans begin two-a-days at 9 a.m. today.