The Redskins have run into an unexpected roadblock in their initial attempts to acquire standout defensive lineman Bruce Clark from the Green Bay Packers.
At the same time, Washington is nearing a decision whether to begin negotiations with halfback Terry Metcalf, the former St. Louis star who, like Clark, played in Canada last year.
The Redskins had hoped that Green Bay would be eager to trade the rights to Clark, the top-rated defensive lineman who decided to play with Toronto instead of signing with the Packers.
However, the Packers have told the Redskins that they will try to lure him to Green Bay before considering any deals, even though Clark frequently has criticized the city and the team. Clark has said he would enjoy playing in Washington.
Richard Bennett, Clark's attorney, said he thought it would be extremely difficult for any club other than Green Bay to sign Clark this season. He would not reveal details of any contract negotiations, other than to say Clark's salary demands will be very high. League sources believe Clark will want an extended contract worth $2 million or more.
Clark has another year on his contract with Toronto and does not need to sign with an NFL team this season. The Redskins want him because he is the intimidating defensive lineman they need to improve their pass rush. If Clark waits another season, Green Bay would retain the right of first refusal on any NFL contract he would sign, but the Packers would not be entitled to any compensation.
The Redskins are reviewing films of Metcalf's play in Canada. The Cardinals still own rights to him and probably would ask for a fourth- or fifth-round choice as compensation.
Metcalf already has indicated he would like to play in Washington, where he owns a suburban home. Metcalf's age and large contract could work against him in negotiations with the Redskins. Bennett, however, said he is going to contact all NFL teams about Metcalf's availability.