Cornerback Lemar Parris told the Washington Redskins yesterday he wants a substantial salary raise or he will not play this season.
But Parrish, who met with irate General Manager Bobby Beathard for the first time since leaving training camp Tuesday was told, according to Beathard, "that we will not renegotiate with him. We told the same thing to John Riggins and we aren't changing that with Lemar."
Cornerback Joe Lavender, who walked out with Parrish, talked to Coach Jack Pardee yesterday. Pardee said Lavender told him "he was in Philadelphia being checked out for stomach problems.I think Joe will be in Tampa for the game (tonight)." Lavender has been plagued by an upset stomach since camp began in mid-July.
The Redskins, who had just one cornerback, Ray Waddy, left, put both Lavender and Parrish on a special league "left team" list yesterday, then picked up ex-Colt cornerback Doug Nettles off waivers. Cornerback Jeris White will be activated today.
White and Nettles are expected to play tonight when the Redskins take on the Bucs in Tampa Bay at 7 o'clock (WJLA-TV-7). This will be the Redskin's last preseason game.
Parrish, who earns $141,000 a year, is seeking a raise to $185,000. He has three years, including this season, left on the contract he signed in 1978 after being acquired from Cincinnati.
Richard Bennett, Parrish's attorney, talked to his client after Parrish had met with Beathard. Bennett said he would begin talks with the Redskins "so we can get this resolved soon.
"Lemar Parrish feels compelled to take the action he has taken. But he harbors no ill feelings toward the team or its management.
"Hopefully, there is give between two reasonable parties who want to see this resolved. There is not just one solution to any problem and we hope to find the right answer to this problem."
But the Redskins are in no mood now to give in to Parrish or Riggins. Beathard and Pardee, sources said, are incensed over the holdouts.
"One thing for sure, you can't get in a situation where the players are running the team," Beathard said.
"Lemar has to make a decision whether he wants to play or not play. He says it has nothing to do with the fact we just signed Jeris White to a contract.
"We won't budge on this. Period. There is no discussion involved. I asked him if he realized what he is doing to the team and he said he wanted his contract changed."
Parrish, who reportedly returned home to Florida yesterday, had refused to discuss the matter. His wife said, "Lemar has decided not to talk to reporters about the matter right now."
A close friend of Parrish, who asked not to be identified, said that the cornerback "wants the matter to be resolved quickly. He wants to play badly against Dallas. The Redskins know they need him, too."
"But they are going to have to come up to his (salary) standard first. He's not asking for an out-of-the-ballpark figure.
Parrish is one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league. He also is coming off one of his best seasons, in which he was named all-pro for the first time in his career. He had nine interceptions, with at least one in six straight games.
"The thing is," one source said, "Lemar is probably more valuable to the Redskins than Riggins. They need him in the secondary. Jeris White is good but he can't compare to Lemar on a man-to-man coverage."
As long as Parrish stays out, the Redskins also have their options with Lavender reduced.
This is Lavender's third absence without permission because of his stomach.
With White activated, Lavender probably would be put on injured reserve if Parrish were in camp.
Lavender also was not available for comment.
Parrish has a history of contract toubles. He asked to be traded from Cincinnati when the Bengals would not raise his $60,000 pact. And league sources say that he has frequently quibbled with the Redskins about this contract.
Ironically, a Redskin official two weeks ago had voiced fears that Parrish would leave camp to seek a raise. "He just seems unhappy about the situation," the official said. "I wouldn't be surprised if he left.
With the constant contract problems, Pardee is having trouble getting his players to concentrate on the game against Tampa Bay. He emphasized yesterday that "we'll still have a season to play and with the people we have and the way these players are dedicated, we will be okay."
Tonight's contest will mark the first appearance of White, Nettles and fullback Wilbur Jackson in Redskin uniforms. White played for Tampa Bay last year, coming to Washington in the offseason for Danny Buggs and a fourth round draft choice. Buggs is a second-team wide receiver with the Bucs.
Jackson, acquired last week in a deal with San Francisco, is expected to play about half the game. His development is crucial, since the Redskins need a power runner to replace Riggins, now in the fifth week of his holdout.
"Wilbur has picked up the offense amazingly fast," said Fred O'Conner, running back coach. "He has about 90 percent of it down. He needs a good night's work and that's what we plan to give him.
Pardee plans to play his regulars, including quarterback Joe Theismann, for about a half, then begin substituting liberally.
Nettles played with Baltimore for six years, starting the last two. The Colts waived him last week.
A fifth-round choice in 1974, Nettles, who is 6 feet and weighs 178, has only five interceptions as a pro. Last year was his best, with two, as he started 15 games after missing the season opener. He had played in 71 games with the Colts, starting 37.
Nettles was expected in Tampa Bay lst night to work out with the Redskins.