Federals lose. Maryland's John Tice, who Washington's USFL team would have very much liked to take a crack at becoming their first effective tight end, has signed with NFL New Orleans. A third-round pick, Tice was the Saints' last 1983 draftee to come to terms . . .

The Michigan Panthers, whose rookie Bobby Hebert became USFL passing champion in the regular-season closer, go into Sunday's playoff against Oakland with a one-word injury report: none. And, "to show our appreciation to the Michigan fans," says owner A. Alfred Taubman, Silverdome seats, $14.50 tops in regular season, will cost just $8.50 and $5 for the playoff . . .

On the NFL home front, second-round draftee Richard Williams is expected to reach agreement with the Redskins today on a series of three one-year contracts. "We're about 99 percent set, just a couple little nothings apart," said the Memphis State running back's agent, George Kickliter . . . A team of Redskins coaches, led by Joe Gibbs, and players, including Mark Moseley, vies with George Michael's Channel 4 sports team in a sports quiz, Children's Hospital benefit version of Mac McGarry's long-running "It's Academic" to be taped at WRC-TV Momday evening for showing Sept. 3.