Cornerbacks Joe Lavender and Lemar Parrish walked out of training camp at Redskin Park yesterday, apparently in protest of the club's waiving of their friend, safety Don Harris. But worried team officials admitted the departures could involve contract difficulties.
"As far as we know, they are upset over Donnie," General Manager Bobby Beathard said. "But I haven't been able to talk to either one. They aren't around. Joe Lavender's agent called me and said Joe was trying to get in touch with Donnie, so I have to go on that."
Harris said he talked to Lavender after the two cornerbacks left the park -- they attended a team meeting in the morning but were not at practice in the afternoon -- "and Joe gave me the reason why they left and I'm not the reason."
Harris said he told Lavender about his being cut late in the morning. "They are good friends and I appreciate their concern," Harris said, "but I don't think I am the reason."
Some team officials hinted that the cornerbacks may be upset over the contract just signed by cornerback Jeris White. White ended a four-week holdout Monday by agreeing to a three-year pact. Other terms were not announced, but it is believed the contract calls for $115,000 a year.
"But another report had Jeris getting $140,000," another official said. "Lemar sees that and maybe he gets upset. Who knows what they might believe."
Parrish is making $141,000 a year. Lavender is paid $120,000. Both made the Pro Bowl last season. Parrish, who signed a new contract with the Redskins after coming over in a trade with Cincinnati, was selected All-Pro.
League sources say Parrish has quibbled with the club over his contract ever since signing it. But the Redskins thought all difficulties had been straightened out. Lavender signed a new pact a year ago.
"I just hope they are back Wednesday," Coach Jack Pardee said. "It's disruptive. But leaving camp seems to be easier and easier these days."
Of course, Pardee has had to contend with two other walkouts this summer. White's is over, but John Riggins has not returned. Reports persisted that he is back in the area, but they could not be confirmed. Redskin officials said they would not be surprised if he shows up for practice today.
Pardee said yesterday was "one of those difficult days when it's sad to be a player or a coach." He was referring to the waiving of Mike Bragg and Dan Nugent, both popular players . . . . Nugent, who had back surgery last September, was trailing free agent Gary Anderson as backup guard. "Dan had made progress," Pardee said, "and he can play. He just wasn't quite as reckless."
Nugent had been used behind Ron Saul all camp. Nugent started in 1978, but hurt his back weightlifting in the off season while recovering from surgery and was on injured reserve all of 1979.
Harris was the victim of a secondary surplus. Despite his good special teams work, he could not beat out either Tony Peters or newcomer Mike Nelms in the backfield.
"I thought I had a good training camp and I thought my special teams work was as good as always," Harris said. "But at least I'm glad the Redskins told me now so I can hook up with another club."
The waiving of Godfrey was somewhat surprising, since he had shown such promise.But last year, Pardee released such young players as Buddy Hardeman and John McDaniel midway through camp and brought them back once the regular season began.
With the departure of Owens, Washington is down to four wide receivers, including rookies Art Monk and Zion McKinney. Barring a last-minute change in plans, both will be on the final roster.
The New Orleans Saints cut place-kicker Garo Yepremian yesterday, and the balding Cypriot reacted with disbelief.
"Of course most people who hear about it will be as surprised as I was," Yepremian said. "I did so well last year and I was doing well in practices and in the games. I thought there was no way I wouldn't make this team."
Russell Erxleben, a place-kicker and punter, is the man filling Yepremian's shoes, but the Saints also kept punter Rick Partridge.
The Atlanta Falcons dropped ex-Redskin Paul Ryczek, a seven-year center out of Virginia; 10-year defensive tackle Mike Lewis and rookie running back I. M. Hipp of Nebraska, among a group of 10.
Baltimore's youth movement swept away veteran defensive back Doug Nettles, who started 13 games in 1979. Tight end Mack Alston was placed on the injured reserve list.
The Denver Broncos waived veteran defensive back Charlie West and wide receiver Vince Kinney, a University of Maryland product.
The Kansas City Chiefs waived kicker Jan Stenerud, a 13-year veteran, after unsuccessfully trying to trade him. Nick Lowery, 22, a free agent from Dartmouth, will be the team's extra point and field goal kicker.