The wheeling and dealing is over for the Redskins and every other NFL team. The trading deadline passed Tuesday. But at Redskin Park, the Jack Pardee Principle of Productivity has been firmly established.
The latest maneuvering by General Manager Bobby Beathard - Frank Grant traded to Tampa and Benny Malone obtained from Miami - demonstrated again that present productivity - not years of service, past performance or even popularity with fans or teammates - is the most important factor in a player's relationship with the organization.
"I think that's how every team in the league operates," Beathard said yesterday, "but that wasn't the reason for the Frank Grant trade or even the Eddie Brown trade. Those were not examples of guys not producing. In both situations, we had the chance to upgrade the football team and make it better. That's always the No. 1 consideration.
"I don't want our players to think they're expandable, because they're not. And I think most of these guys have been seen what we've done in the past, and we've got some credibility because we brought good people in. The players can see that."
Since April 14, Beathard has choreographed 14 deals involving players and draft choices, and his battling average has been mostly spectacular.
His first deal produced a six-round draft choice from the 49ers in exchange for receiver Larry Jones. The Redskins used it to draft Tony Green. A No. 1 choice brought Lemar Parrish and Coy Bacon from Cincinnati. Ricky Thompson came from Baltimore for a seventh-round choice, and John McDaniel from Kansas City for a 10th-round choice.
And while Beathard declined yesterday to get specific on the Redskins' 1979 draft, he indicated they will have one choice in the first five rounds (probably a third), two picks in rounds six through 10, two selections in the 11th round and one in the 12th.
"And in 1980, we're back in the draft business again," he said, with picks in the first two rounds and in rounds four through seven and nine through 12."
Beathard insisted that he does not trade without Pardee's consent, and that they are communicating constantly.
"You also try and keep a good system of communication around the league any way you can, to find out what's going on with other teams, what's available now and what might be available in the future," he said.
"Jack always keeps us up to date on what his needs are, too. And you also try to keep on hand a list of anybody not playing on a team, in case of emergency situations.
"Sometimes a team might call you and ask about players you have at a certain position. Then you meet with the coaches and find out who they think might be expandable. Sometimes you shop a player around.
But I would never tell another team is available unless I talked to Jack first. "We're always together on these things."
Beathard knows several of his trades have not been popular with the players on his team. The trade of Eddie Brown set off howls and the Grant deal has started the grumble mill cchurning again in the locker room. You just never know who's next," one player said, "and everybody knows that now."
Said Beathard, "You just have to be objective and not make decisions based on emotions." Many players think that the Malone trade was made mostly to protect the Redskins in case Mike Thomas decides to become a free agent after the 78 season.
Beathard insists not. "Bunny can help our team now," he said. "We think he can help us keep winning. It has nothing to do with Mike.
"The key on all of this is that you can do all the trading and acquiring in the world, but if you don't have the staff to teach and motivate them, then you won't be successful.
"We just have a real workable relationship. In some situations, there's almost a division between the scouting end and the coaching staff. But here we're all thinking the same thing: what's best for the Redskins? We don't have any ego problems."
Just one hellacious telephone bill. How much do we spend on the phone?" Beathard mused. "Just say a lot."