Calvin Hill's career with the Washington Redskins ended yesterday when Coach Jack Pardee agreed to release the former all-pro running back, a move that would probably allow Hill to become a free agent and negotiate a deal for himself with any of 27 other NFL teams.
According to General Manager Bobby Beathard, the Redskins will put Hill on waivers with three other players released yesterday - running back Nate Jackson, wide receivers Ed Marshall and defensive end Johnny Owens.
Hill could be claimed off the waiver list by another team, but that prospect seems unlikely, considering his age (31) and his $125,000 a year salary. The Redskins also could reclaim him if another team put in a claim and attempted to make a deal.
"I'm not sure what we'd do if that happens," Beathard said. "We'll talk about it tommorrow."
Pardee, however, indicated last night that the Redskins probably wouldn't attempt to make a trade if another team decided to calim Hill.
"We just wanted to give him some alternative choices," pardee said. "And if no one claimed him, he'd also be free to come back here in the future.
"Clavin hadn't really made up his mind about what he wanted to do. With the strong showing of Tony Green against Baltimore and Tommy Reamon the week before, I think we're pretty well off at the position. We wanted to let Calvin have some other choices if that's what he wanted. I hope it all works out for him."
Hill met with Pardee for an hour yesterday afternoon and said. "I think he understands and appreciates my situation. So they're going to give me my release so that I can make a deal with another team.
"I'm going to talk to teams that want a guy who's capable of helping them win. I hope I can find someone like that I think Jack realizes that it would he difficult for me to play here."
Hill came to the Redskins in 1976 as a free agent, but saw limited action in his two seasons here.
Hill had walked out of the Redskin camo two weeks ago, announcing his retirement because he said he felt he had no chance to play very much in 1978 and he described as a "negative influence" on his teammates.
But yesterday, Hill said he thought he could play at least another three years. "I feel totally reuvenated," he said. "I feel like I did when I was first drafted.
"Two weeks ago, I was as low as I've been in my life. I had no hope. Now I have a ray of hope. I think if I get into a good situation, I can do the things I used to do in Dallas."
Hill said he had not been contacted by any other teams, nor had he made an effort to make inquiries around the league on his own.
"I'd like to go with a team that has an I attack, but really I'd just like to go to a team that can really use me. I can think of New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore as three teams that could use a tallback. But I haven't given it that much thought.
"I just really think I can have a great year. I weigh 220 now and I'd like to pick up six or seven pounds. I would consider any place I could play. Dallas? Gee, I hadn't even thought about it.
"But I have to be honest with myself. I still think I can do the things I did in Dallas when I was younger. I have a lot more maturity than I did then, and I have a lot more enthusiasm.
"As far as my salary, well, I didn't think I was paid out of line for what I thought I could do here. Had they tailored some things for me, I think people might have said I was probably underpaid.
"But I'm not looking for money. I'm looking for peace of mind and the opportunity to play. For a lot of reasons, I never had that chance here, but that's all behind me now. I feel better right now than I've felt in a long, long time."
There were no surprises in the Redskins' other three personnel moves yesterday.
Jackson, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound buildozer, showed early promise in training camp and looked impressive in a rookie scrimmage against the Colts. But Clarence Harmon has played well in backing up John Riggins at full-back, and Jackson was a victim of the numbers game.