The Pro Football Hall of Fame will vote Jan. 29 in Pasadena, Calif., and former Washington Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen is a heavy favorite to be inducted next summer.
"I think he's got a good chance, but that's all I can say," said Don Smith, the vice president of the Hall. "I can tell you that the voting is the closest we've ever had."
Media representatives from the 28 NFL cities will vote three to six members into the Hall from a list of 15 finalists. Among the finalists this year are two other Redskins' greats, Bobby Mitchell and Charley Taylor. Mitchell has been eligible for several years but is among the finalists for the first time. Taylor is eligible for the first time, along with Willie Lanier, Lem Barney, Paul Warfield and Ralph Neely, among others.
To make the Hall of Fame, finalists must get at least 80 percent of the votes cast. The inductees will be announced at the Pro Bowl Feb. 6 in Honolulu . . .
Several Redskins players will be honored Saturday night at the Touchdown Club's 48th annual awards dinner: John Riggins as the Redskins' top offensive player, Dave Butz as their top defensive player, Mark Moseley as the outstanding player in the NFL, Joe Theismann as the player who contributed most toward his team making the playoffs and Joe Gibbs as the NFL's top coach . . .
The Washington Federals signed running back Bobby Hammond, 30, a former Redskins player who played five seasons in the NFL and in 1977 was named the New York Giants' most valuable player.
Other new Federals: Greg Butler, a five-year veteran of the Canadian Football League and a graduate of Howard University, guard Nick Paulett of Arlington and linebacker Greg Wylly of Fort Meade . . .
In Houston, one of two Oilers cornerbacks arrested outside a private club Jan. 12 has pleaded innocent to charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a suspended license.
J.C Wilson, 26, will be tried Feb. 28 on the license charge and March 17 on the driving charge and is free on $800 bond.
Wilson and teammate Greg Stemrick were arrested outside a private club that had been watched by undercover narcotics officers for several days. Stemrick, 31, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and released on $5,000 bond.
Oilers Coach Ed Biles said he had urged both players to enroll in a rehabilitation program.