Quarterback Tom Flick signed with the Washington Redskins yesterday, and took on the role of public benefactor.
Included in the player's contract is a charity clause, said agent Lee Steinberg. Through it Flick will repay about $16,000 in scholarship funds to his alma mater, the University of Washington, and establish a scholarship fund at his high school in Bellevue, Wash.
He also will donate $100 for each touchdown pass he throws for the Redskins, or a minimum of $1,000 to a unnamed charity in the Washington area. The Redskins will match the gift.
"I'm very lucky for what I have," Flick said. "It would be very easy for me to take the money and run, but if I live here I want to be a part of the city."
Otherwise, his contract terms were not revealed.
Drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round of the April National Football League draft, Flick, 22, said he is here to learn, not to dethrone Joe Theismann.
"If I got anything out of the college days it was patience," he said. "Patience is one of my stronger points; I can be patient here, too, but I can also be ready.
"One thing that will make it easier is that the term I'm with has a solid coach in Joe Gibbs," who, Flick believes, will play him as often as opportunity allows.
"What would be very bad is to not enjoy where you're sitting," he said. "I wanted to come to Washington. Now that I've come here, seen the city and met the people, I feel good about it. It's an exciting city with a lot of history."
On the appearances, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound, blue-eyed, sandy-haired player is the epitome of the boy next door. But his career reads like a study in frustration. He was red-shirted his sophomore year in college because of injury and warmed the bench two years before coming the Huskies' starting quarterback. Then he sat through three rounds of the NFL draft before the Redskins selected him as their fourth-round choice.
A tryout before the draft Gibbs held tryouts for Flick and the more famous Neil Lomax of Portland State. Flick was judged the superior.
"I don't know what happened," Flick said. "I don't know what he (Gibbs) saw except the personality. He enjoys the drop-back passer," the style Flick used to pass last year for 2,178 yards and 15 touchdowns as the Huskies went to the Rose Bowl.
As a youth, he earned the nickname "Bellevue Bomber" by spending nights with friends passing a football in the expansive parking lot of a local supermarket. Sometimes they would throw the ball into shopping carts sets 50 yards apart.
He was born in Patuxent, Md., the fifth of six children of a retired Navy officer. The family moved to Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle, 15 years ago. "In effect I'm returing home," Flick said.