Rows of swaying trees shade the split-level office building, work place of doctors, lawyers, business consultants--and the J. White Corporation.
The J stands for Jeris. As in Jeris White, starting left cornerback for the Redskins in 1980, 1981 and 1982. His base salary last season was $185,000, but he could not reach an agreement on a new contract and is not playing football.
While his former teammates struggle without him and Tony Peters in the secondary, White calls his own signals in this busy tourist city on the west coast of Florida.
His business now is real estate. He appears adamant about both his contract holdout with the Redskins (he reportedly wants a three-year, $1 million contract) and building up his business here.
"It would be nice to play football for the next two or three years, but I don't need it," said White, who played in 129 consecutive games since entering the National Football League in 1974. "I've got my future here."
Here, for White, is an immaculately neat and fashionably furnished two-room office.
A modern couch set fills the first room. Down a short hallway and through another door is White's personal office. A print covers one wall. On the large, wooden desk top is a thick real estate manual and a gold pen set etched with his name.
"Football for me is a bridge to the other side," he said. "And I'm almost at the other side now."
White feels at home in Florida. He spent his first three professional seasons playing with the Miami Dolphins and next three with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who compete 70 miles northeast of Sarasota. With the Bucs, White was nicknamed "the Clam" for his long-standing policy of not talking with reporters.
White intercepted 12 passes in three seasons with the Bucs, but the club reached a contract impasse with him in 1980 and traded him to the Redskins for Danny Buggs.
A standout on the Super Bowl champion Redskin team, White intercepted three passes in nine games last year. He added two more in the playoffs--returning one 77 yards for the opening touchdown against Detroit.
But White, 31, did not report for training camp in July. The Redskins feel they made a generous offer to White, who is represented by Howard Slusher. The two sides reportedly were far apart when negotiations broke off earlier this month.
"I'm not bitter," White said. "For about a week I was mad, but that was it."
White perceives the situation as a business matter--from both his perspective and the club's.
"That's business, I can understand from their point of view," he said. "But that's why I'm here."
White spoke of another player who recently held firm in his holdout, former Tampa Bay quarterback Doug Williams. In August, with the sides $200,000 apart, Williams signed with the Oklahoma Outlaws of the U.S. Football League.
The Bucs have since gone 0-4 and attendance at their last two home games has dipped 15,000 below capacity. White took a calculator, punched in numbers and determined Tampa Bay could have paid Williams with the $200,000 it has lost in revenue.
"It's not that they didn't have the money to pay him," said White, who has a business administration degree from the University of Hawaii. "They just wanted to keep expenses down."
He said he preferred not to discuss Washington or seek publicity from his holdout. Of football, he says simply:
"I can't say I miss it."