The Redskins and halfback Benny Malone have reached an impasse in contract talks and the club has granted the veteran halfback permission to negotiate with other NFL teams.
Malone, who is paid $80,000 a year, is entering the option year of his contract. The Redskins sent him a qualifying offer, as required under league rules, but Malone was unhappy with the proposal.
"We are at an impasse with Benny," General Manager Bobby Beathard said. "So when he asked if he could talk to other clubs, we gave him permission.
"We are just far apart right now. He wants a lot more than we think we can pay him. He's not a free agent, but if he can work something out with another team, fine.
"But that's not saying he won't be back with us next year. Things could change in the next few months."
Malone, who staged a brief training camp walkout in July over his contract, was the Redskins' starting halfback last season after coming over in a trade with Miami during the 1978 season. He gained only 472 yards but was praised by the coaching staff for his blocking ability.
If Malone does reach agreement with another team, the Redskins would work out a trade with that club, either in players or draft choices.