For awhile yesterday, there was circumstantial evidence that the Redskins were about to resolve their problems in trading option-playout Mike Thomas.
First, it was announced that a trade had been made with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for running back Louis Carter, who played at the University of Maryland before being drafted on the third round by the Oakland Raiders for the 1975 season.
Carter was acquired by Tampa Bay in the 1976 expansion draft. The Redskins' deal for him yesterday suggested that he was being obtained to make up, in part, for the anticipated loss of Thomas.
Then there was a report that a "sold" sign had been seen on Thomas' property in Vienna.
On top of that, General Manager Bobby Beathard confirmed he had talked with the Raiders several times about a deal for Thomas, most recently on Monday.
It turned out that some youngsters had removed a "sold" sign from another property in Vienna and placed it at Thomas' house, as a prank.
But Beathard reported Thomas' agents as saying Thomas has, indeed, sold his house.
Beathard said he thought at one time he could make a deal for Thomas with Oakland. "We'll continue to pursue the talks," he said.