The Redskins expressed little official interest today in fullback Larry Csonka, who was waived by the Miami dolphins after a contract dispute with owner Joe Robbie.
Csonka wants $250,000 to play one more season in the National Football League. Robbie was willing to pay him $230,000. When the two could not reach an agreement, Csonka asked for his release. The Dolphins complied.
The Redskins are playing a waiting game with fullback John Riggins, who is boycotting training camp, also over a salary dispute. Riggins wants the option year of his contract next season turned into a one-year guaranteed pact worth around $500,000. He currently earns $300,000 annually.
Despite a decline in his abilities, Csonka could fill the Redskins' current big-back void. And he would not cost the club any draft choices. But it seems unlikely that Washington would think Csonka was worth $250,000, even if Riggins does sit out the season, as he has threatened to do.
Riggins' first public statements on his contract situation as reported in Tuesday's editions of The Washingon Post, met with little reaction here.
"He didn't say anything differently than he has said privately," said one source. "This is a matter of time now."
The feeling in camp seems to be that Riggins will return at some point before the season begins and that should the Redskins decide to renegotiate his contract, it will never be announced publicly.
Meanwhile the club is making every effort not to show any panic over the situation, although it is staying informed about the status of every running back in the league who might be available either through a trade or waivers.
The main concern is the possibility of overworking current fullback Clarance Harmon, who plays best when mixed into a substitution pattern. Should a good fullback become available, the Redskins apparently will pick him up, even if they are convinced Riggins will return, to make sure they are covered no matter what the holdout fullback does.