In yesterday's first edition of The Washington Post, it was incorrectly reported that Billy Kilmer had signed a new two-year contract with the Redskins. While Kilmer agreed to terms, he did not sign the contract.
Quarterback Billy Kilmer last night agreed to terms on a new two-year contract with the Washington Redskins that will pay him approximately $500,000 over the length of the pact.
Neither Kilmer nor the Redskins would say whether the contract was guaranteed, one of the veteran quarterback's publicly stated goals in his recent negotiations. "But I'm happy Kilmer said, "and the obvious is the obvious."
Other sources indicated last night the contract is definitely guaranteed, meaning Kilmer will be paid for both years regardless of injury. There is also a no-trade clause, although the agreement does not contain an option clause. The new contract covers the 1978 and 1979 seasons.
Kilmer, who will turn 39 Sept. 4 and is the oldest player on the Redskins, now presumably will finish his career in Washington. He will be 41 when the current pact runs out.
Redskin President Edward Bennett Williams made a surprise and somewhat rare visit to training camp yesterday, specifically to meet with Kilmer and resolve what had become a bitter and somewhat devisive dispute.
Williams and General Manager Bobby Beathard met with Kilmer for an hour after the afternoon practice. According to Beathard, "Mr. Williams assured Billy he was behind him 100 percent. Hopefully, one of our biggest problems is solved."
Kilmer has not yet signed a contract, but "if it's written up the way we talked about it in the meeting, I feel it will get signed," he said.
"We had a good meeting. There had been a lack of communication between both parties, and we worked it out."
Kilmer has been openly critical of Williams over the firing of George Allen and recently was quoted as saying he felt Allen should not have been fined $3,000 by the NFL for his public comments concerning the Redskin president.
Asked last night if his meeting with Williams had effected a reconciliation, the quarterback broke into a large grin, turned red in the face and said, "There wasn't any reconciliation to be bad. It was just a matter of getting together again.
"No, I don't think it affected team morale. I really don't think it was that big a thing. Sure, a lot of players kept asking, 'Are you settled, are you settled.' It was curiosity more than anything else."
But Beathard was getting another message when he returned to training camp yesterday after five days on the road.
"A number of players on the squad look to Billy as their leader and there were a number of the veterans who were upset by this and upset by the situation," he said. "I just think this will make us a happier football team."
"I'm just pleased it's over and both sides left the meeting with smiles on their faces. Once Mr. Williams got into it, the solution became much easier.
"I think now Billy realizes his problems weren't with Mr. Williams; they were with me. My thinking wasn't necessarily Mr. Williams' thinking on some things. But this wasn't a deal where one side got the best of the other side. Everybody seems to be pleased.
Williams would only confirm that Kilmer had agreed to terms and declined further comment.
"I'm just glad it's worked out," Redskins Coach Jack Pardee said. "Bill's had a good camp. It will set his mind at ease. He'll have nothing distracting him. He can concentrate on football, which he's doing, anyway. But sooner or later it would have come up."
No, it didn't affect me at all," Kilmer said. "I've had a pretty good camp so far. Learning a new offense has kept my mind away from it. But both parties just felt it was time to get it settled. It was not big hassle."
There was another development at the quarterback position earlier in the day when the Redskins aquired rookie signal-caller Bill Kenney from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a sixth-round draft choice in 1979, contingent on Kennedy's making the team.
Kennedy, 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, was taken in the 12th round of the 1978 draft by the Dolphins out of Northern Colorado, Beathard said the Dolphins were impressed with Kenney's training-camp performance, but they did not feel he would be able to beat out Guy Benjamin, their third-round pick from Stanford, for a backup position.
"I think he's a potential starter in the future, not an immediate starter," pardee said of Kenney, who is expected in camp for today's morning practice.
The Redskins also placed two line-backers on waivers; veteran Greg Hartle and rookie free agent Chris Tormey of Idaho.
Hartle, signed as a free agent before the 1977 season after playing out his option in St. Louis, spent last season on the Redskins' injured-reserve list.
The no-recall waiver of Hartle was not really that much of a surprise because the Redskins are loaded at middle linebacker. Hartle suffered a severe knee injury with the Cardinals early in the 1976 season, underwent major sugery and was unable to perform last year in training camp.
Pardee also said yesterday he expects Jeff Williams, the offensive tackle obtained from the Los Angeles Rams as part of the Eddie Brown trade, to report to Carlisle later in the week.
Beathard said he spoke with Williams yesterday "and he sounded like a totally different person from the kid I talked to last week. He's settled his business problems, and he's really eager to come in and play for us."