After months of on-and-off negotiations, running back Benny Malone and the Washington Redskins have come to terms on a new contract.

Malone was entering the option year of his old pact, but he and the club had been at a stalemate over negotiations since the end of last season, when he was given permission to talk to other teams and make his own deal.

"I guess Benny finally realized that we weren't fooling around, that we weren't going to go any higher on our offer to him," General Manager Bobby Beathard said. "We finally have agreed verbally. All we have to do is work out some incentive clauses in his contract, which we will do when he gets to camp this weekend."

Malone, who earned $80,000 in 1979, was the club's starting halfback last year, but he faces a stiff test this season from Buddy Hardeman, Clarence Harmon and, according to Coach Jack Pardee, veteran Bobby Hammond.

"Bobby looks like the Hammond of old to us," Pardee said. "He's really been running well. He's impressed me." Hammond came over last year from the Giants to replace the injured Hardeman as the No. 1 punt returner, a role he has relinquished in camp to newcomer Mike Nelms.