The Washington Redskins announced yesterday that cornerback Darrell Green, their first-round draft pick from Texas A&I, has signed a series of five one-year contracts. The total package, including a sizable signing bonus, was for nearly $1 million, Green's agent said.
Though no specific terms of the contract were disclosed, it was learned that Green will earn more than $100,000 this year, with graduated increases each of the following four years. It also was learned that Green's signing bonus was substantially larger than the $200,000 bonus wide receiver Art Monk received as the Redskins' No. 1 draft pick in 1980.
"The contract is for nearly seven figures, that's all I can say about it," said Carver Henry, Green's agent. Henry added that Green's contract is not guaranteed, noting, "I tried to get a guarantee. But if the Redskins let John Riggins sit out a year without a guaranteed contract, I figured we wouldn't have a chance."
Bobby Beathard, Redskins general manager, who announced yesterday's signing at a press conference, said, "We think Darrell is going to have a big impact on the Redskins in his career as a defensive back and a return specialist."
Henry added, "If Darrell starts this year, my prediction is that he will be in the Pro Bowl." The Houston-based agent said that he felt the contract Green received was as good as the contracts received by the four cornerbacks drafted before Green in the NFL draft in April. "Maybe Darrell's contract was even better than theirs," Henry said.
Henry also said that Green, a kick returner who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds, received a five-year guaranteed offer from the Houston Gamblers of the U.S. Football League.
"But Darrell didn't want to play in the USFL, so we never really considered that offer seriously. He wanted to play in the NFL. Some people are traditionalists and some people are pioneers. Darrell is a traditionalist. That's why he wanted the NFL," said Henry.
Beathard said that Green will spend next week at Redskin Park, working out with Dan Riley, Redskins strength coach. Green then will return to Houston, where he will work out with other NFL players this summer. He is expected to compete for a starting position with Jeris White on the left side. White, who is represented by Howard Slusher, is unsigned and team officials fear he might duplicate his 1981 holdout.
Green said yesterday, "Coming into (July's training) camp, I think the job is as much mine as any other cornerback's . . . I know the Redskins won the Super Bowl last year. They drafted me first. I'm happy to be here."
The scheduled arraignment of Clarence Harmon, Redskins veteran running back charged with possession of cocaine, was postponed in a Texarkana, Tex., court yesterday.
Louis Raffaelli, Bowie County (Tex.) district attorney, said Harmon was granted a continuance, after Spencer Kopf, Harmon's Dallas-based attorney, had notified the court that he had not had sufficient time to study the case. Raffaelli said arraignment would be rescheduled within 30 days, at which point a trial date will be set.
Harmon was charged with possession of 78 grams of cocaine during a March 30 raid by Texas and Arkansas police. An amount in excess of 28 grams (nearly one ounce) constitutes a first-degree felony. Conviction would carry a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.