Bobby Beathard, general manager of the Washington Redskins, abruptly returned from Houston yesterday, calling his contract negotiations with the agent for unsigned top draft pick Darrell Green "a joke and a farce."
Beathard, who had flown to Houston Tuesday, said he was so displeased with the stalled talks with Carver Henry, agent for the rookie cornerback/kick returner from Texas A&I, that he sent a telegram to Henry and Green late yesterday withdrawing the team's offer.
Late yesterday, Henry said of that telegram, "It's very unfortunate . . .I'm going to make every effort to talk to Bobby tonight or tomorrow. I think it was premature on Bobby's part to leave town without letting us know. When he came down here, I thought he was staying for two or three days."
Beathard and Dick Daniels, Redskins director of college scouting, held a daylong negotiating session Tuesday with Henry and Lionel Day, an attorney who is working with Henry on Green's contract negotiations.
"I went down to Houston with very good intentions to make a deal," Beathard said yesterday. "It was very frustrating. It was a joke and a farce. I called Darrell before I left and I explained the situation to him, that we met for several hours (Tuesday), that we got to the point where I thought we had something worked out. . . I told Darrell that they (Henry and Day) weren't even considerate enough to give me a phone call last night or today. There was no reason for me to stay around."
Henry said, "When we parted yesterday (Tuesday), no promises were made. We had not set any time for a meeting today (Wednesday), either. I called Bobby at the hotel at noon today and he was gone.
"You have to understand the ramifications of the decision I have to make. This (contract) could be it for Darrell, the only contract for his entire career. Most players only play for an average of 3 1/2 years. I couldn't tell Darrell I'd make this decision yesterday without thinking about it," Henry said.
Henry had said last week that the two sides were negotiating a possible five-year deal and were approximately $250,000 apart. Neither Beathard nor Henry would discuss specific terms yesterday.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the Houston Gamblers, the new the U.S. Football League team scheduled to begin operations next season, have expressed interest in obtaining Green. His negotiating rights are owned by the Denver Gold.
Asked if he had had any recent talks with Dr. Jerry Argovitz, Houston owner, Henry would only say, "I withhold comment on that."
Before flying to Houston, Beathard had said he wanted to sign Green quickly, so that Green could work out with Redskins coaches before the coaches leave for vacation June 10. Henry has said that Green will not participate in any wworkouts without a contract.
Yesterday Beathard said, "I told Darrell that if he wants to play for the Redskins, 'You better get your fanny on a plane and get up here.' "