Wide receiver Charlie Brown's agent has told the Washington Redskins that Brown doesn't want to come back to the Redskins and has asked that Brown be traded, General Manager Bobby Beathard confirmed yesterday.
"His lawyer (Craig Kelly) mentioned a couple days ago (Wednesday) that Charlie would probably feel better if he didn't come back here," Beathard said.
As the Redskins consider trades for Brown, a two-time all-pro, they also are privately preparing for the expected arrival of kicker Tony Zendejas, a first-team all-pro in the U.S. Football League last season.
Sources on both sides of the negotiations have said that Zendejas, the Redskins' first-round selection in the NFL's 1984 supplemental draft of players in the USFL and Canada, will sign with the Redskins when his contract with the Los Angeles Express expires.
According to Marvin Demhoff, Zendejas' agent, the contract expires June 21. "We're going to wait until then to talk," he said. "It's hard to serve two masters."
Although Coach Joe Gibbs said Zendejas' presence was "conjecture at this point," it has come to be considered common knowledge around Redskin Park that Zendejas will compete with veteran Mark Moseley, 37, for the kicking job this fall.
"They keep telling me that," Moseley, a free agent, said during the team's week-long minicamp, which ends today.
"I figure it's something they are going to hold over me, and that's okay. It's a negotiation thing . . . right now, we're in the middle of negotiations."
Zendejas, who has three cousins and a brother kicking in the pros or college, said he wants to play in the NFL, but no deal has been struck yet.
"It's a possibility, but nothing is for sure yet," he said by phone from Los Angeles. "I would think we'll talk after the season is over, when they're free and I'm free to talk."
Zendejas, 24, is leading the USFL in field goals, making 20 of 25 attempts. He has missed two field goals inside the 50 in the Express' 12 games. His team, however, is 3-9 and tied for last place.
Last season, as a rookie out of Nevada-Reno, Zendejas kicked 21 of 30 field goals and all 33 of the extra points he attempted.
"He has produced in pro football," said Redskins special teams coach Wayne Sevier, who watched him practice earlier this year. (He has also been scouted by Beathard.)
"He's a good kid, a clutch-type performer, and his numbers are the class of the league."
Stiff competition is nothing new for Moseley, the second-oldest kicker in the NFL (Minnesota's Jan Stenerud is 41). In 1982, rookie Dan Miller from the University of Miami (Fla.) pushed him to the end of training camp before Miller was cut.
Moseley kicked a record 20 consecutive field goals that season and was voted the league's most valuable player as the Redskins won the Super Bowl.
Now, he expects another stiff challenge.
"But competition is fine with me," he said. "I'm preparing. The way I feel, the way I'm working out . . . no way is he going to come in here and take my job away unless they just give it away.
"As far as I'm concerned, he better be great."
Moseley, who has mentioned that he feels he can kick "five more years," said he is in the best shape, "mentally and physically," he has ever been in.
"They (the Redskins) know I work just as hard if I am by myself or if 10 guys are trying to get the job," he said.
Sevier agreed. "There is no reason to think Mark is not up to the challenge. We are expecting nothing short of a great effort from both guys, if Zendejas is here."
Gibbs also gave Moseley a strong vote of confidence. "He had some competition a couple years ago and he rose above it. He is one of the great competitors," Gibbs said.
Perhaps the competition actually began when Moseley first heard that the Redskins chose Zendejas in the supplemental draft.
"Even though the kid was good in college, he's still using a tee," Moseley said last season.
The USFL allows kickers to use a two-inch block rubber tee on field goals and extra points and Zendejas often takes advantage of the rule. Those who have watched him play say he sometimes experiments without the tee.
Last season, Moseley kicked 24 of 31 field goals and 48 of 51 extra points. He was successful on all but two field goals inside the 40, but missed five of seven from the 40 and beyond. He kicked a 37-yarder that won the final regular-season game against St. Louis, 29-27, but missed a 41-yard attempt that would have pulled the Redskins within one point of Chicago late in their playoff game, which turned into a 23-19 loss.
Brown, a two-time all-pro, surprised the Redskins when he did not show up for this week's minicamp. Although Brown has not returned phone calls, he is believed to be upset over several things, including lack of playing time last season.
"A couple of teams have expressed interest," Beathard said, refusing to name names. "We wanted to see if there is interest, and there is."
Reserve cornerback Anthony Washington's twisted knee, which underwent an arthrogram yesterday, "looks good," head trainer Bubba Tyer said. "We're going to let it calm down and get the swelling out of it now" . . . Running back John Riggins, dressed in a blue warmup suit with his jersey on top, received an ovation from his teammates when he ran over the right side of the line in the first Riggo Drill of the year . . . Gibbs said the team has not gotten "as much out of the minicamp" as he had hoped because of rainy weather . . . Gibbs praised running back George Rogers' attitude. "He's a good person, always with a smile on his face. I think he's a worker. A guy like that fits in right away."