Some top NFL veterans in the option year of their contracts might refuse to report to training camp to protest the club owners' attempt to "turn back the economic hands of time," a group of player agents said after meeting in Chicago.
"We're finding a lot of resistance (to negotiating contracts) for both rookies and veterans and we're considering having those veteran players not report to their clubs until they are signed," said Frank Murtha, one of about 30 agents or their representatives attending the meeting.
He said there are 127 veterans entering their final contract year, and they might be encouraged to stay away from training en masse. Most of the 28 clubs open camp in mid-July.
Murtha said average first-round salary offers are down to $125,000 from $175,000 last year, and bonus offers have dropped to $300,000-$350,000 from $850,000 in 1984.
"We're going to form a contract advisory committee and a player employment and education committee in case some players decide to sit out a year," said Murtha. "And we're going to discuss antitrust litigation as well. "We haven't decided to sue. Right now, we're just going to discuss it." . . .
Isaac Curtis, the all-time leading receiver of the Cincinnati Bengals, has decided to retire rather than face the possibility of being released on waivers, the team announced. General Manager Paul Brown said the Bengals plan to honor Curtis, 34, with special ceremonies at halftime of the San Diego-Cincinnati game at Riverfront Stadium on Sept. 22.
Curtis, drafted in 1973 from San Diego State, spent his entire NFL career with Cincinnati.