The Washington Redskins signed free-agent wide receiver Danny Buggs to a new contract yesterday, thus avoiding their only training-camp holdout possibility.
General Manager Bobby Beathard also announced the signing of offensive lineman Terry Hermeling. Both Buggs and Hermeling agreed to a series of three one-year contracts.
"This is good for the team," said Beathard whose club opens camp at Carlisle, Pa., today.
"We don't have any problems, contract-wise, going into training camp. There shouldn't be any distractions. You never know how this free-agent thing will work. It should provide inspiration to the unsigned player but, like in the case of Mike Thomas last year, I don't think it made any difference to him."
The Redskins now have three players entering the option year of their contracts.
Defensive lineman Perry Brooks "is not close to signing," said Beathard. The team is near agreement with cornerback Gerard Williams. There is no activity between the club and tight end Jean Fugett.
"I didn't think we'd have Hermeling or Brad Dusek (who signed Thursday) signed," said Beathard. "But things just fell into place. They are both leaders and it will help to have them forgetting about their contracts."
Beathard said the same compromise led to the signing of the players.
"We had been talking about short-term contracts," he said. "But then we went to three-year contracts and we came up in our money and they came down.
"You don't want to go through this every year. It's not worth it. So if a player is willing to sign for more years, I think it's beneficial for us to raise our salary somewhat."
Buggs and his agent, Spencer Kopf, met with Beathard yesterday. Beathard said the talks had reached an impasse, "but this time, things worked out a lot better.
"They wanted Danny to play and we wanted to sign him," said Beathard. "It was give and take. They had been talking about a one-year contract but then yesterday they went to three years."
Buggs signed a one-year contract prior to last season. He became a free agent in February but did not come close to signing with another team.
Hermeling is one of the anchors of the Redskin offensive line. Beathard says the guard is "in great shape and ready to go. He's been working hard and I think he could have a fine year."
About 75 players, including some 20 veterans, are expected in camp today for physicals and tests. The rest of the roster will report in a week.