The Washington Redskins yesterday obtained two former Penn State football players, who walked out of the New York Jets' training camp last year, in a conditional trade with the Jets for a draft choice believed to be a 10th-round pick.
Randy Sidler, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound former All-America middle guard, and 5-11, 185-pound cornerback Neil Hutton were drafted by the Jets last year, Sidler on the fifth round and Hutton on the ninth. Both left camp saying they were tired of football.
If either player makes the Redskin roster, the Jets will receive a Washington choice in the 1980 draft. If both fail to make the team, the Redskins retain the pick.
"We felt both players could have made our team last year, maybe not as starters, but somewhere on the roster," said Jim Royer, the Jets' director of pro scouting.
"I think they're good football players. So why did we get rid of them, you ask? Well, we drafted three line-backers this year, two in the fifth round and one in the eighth, and we picked three defensive backs, in the third, fourth and seventh rounds.
"We felt both Sidler and Hutton did not have as good a shot this year. They both have been out of football a year, and Sidler was a projection at linebacker. He played as a down lineman in college, and you take a chance there. We felt they'd be better off somewhere else."
Mike Allman, the Redskins' director of player personnel, said both had a decent shot at playing for the Redskins.
"Let's face it," he said, "we are not a powerhouse team right now and we don't have very many untouchables on our roster. We also like Penn State players.
"I don't know what happened to them in New York, but not many Penn State kids I know quit. Sidler were a great college player - tough, aggressive, intuitive. Hutton's not as fast as you'd like to see, but he's a good special teamer.
"We've talked to both of them, and they have indicated they definitely want to play football. Walt Michaels (the Jets' coach) also has a policy that he doesn't want guys back who walk out of camp, for moral purposes. We don't have that luxury."