The Washington Redskins, who must release or move 10 more players by 4 p.m. today, have been exploring the options of trading one of their kickers since the competition between Tony Zendejas and veteran Mark Moseley began last month.
One source within the organization said it was more likely a kicker would be waived or traded today than one of the backup quarterbacks, Jay Schroeder and Babe Laufenberg.
Moseley, 37, the NFL's most valuable player in 1982 after beating out Danny Miller in a similar competition to this year's test, seems to have the edge despite the $150,000 signing bonus the Redskins paid the 25-year-old Zendejas.
Moseley has made three of five preseason field goal attempts, including his last two tries against New England last Friday.
Zendejas has made only one of four.
Laufenberg's 200-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Patriots appears to have earned him at least another week on the roster.
"We got a lot of decisions to make by tomorrow," is all Coach Joe Gibbs would say.
One of those decisions concerns the secondary, where cornerback Kevin Williams seems in peril. Rookie cornerback Tory Nixon probably will make the 50-man roster today, but might be in jeopardy when the Redskins make their final cut to 45 next week.
Nixon, the club's first pick as the 33rd player selected in the 1985 NFL draft, has had trouble catching up after missing the first two weeks of training camp in a contract holdout.
He signed a four-year deal believed to be worth $990,000, which included a $200,000 signing bonus.
"I think Tory's working hard," said Gibbs. "There's a lot of hard work to be done. I think he's got a lot of ground to make up, and he's working hard to try to do that."
Does he have time?
"That's something with everybody out here. There's no way to say right now," Gibbs said.
If the Redskins keep seven defensive backs, it's likely they will be Darrell Green, Vernon Dean, Tony Peters, Curtis Jordan, Raphel Cherry, Barry Wilburn and Greg Williams, who has impressed the coaches at safety and on special teams.
With eight, Nixon might make the team.
"He's improved but he's still behind. It's a problem," said Richie Petitbon, assistant head coach-defense. "It's a tough question. We'll just have to wait and see."
The wide receiver situation remains muddled with the knee injury to Gary Clark and acquisition yesterday of Malcolm Barnwell. It appears rookie Joe Phillips might not make the 50-man roster.
But Gibbs has not decided how many wide receivers to keep, he said.
Clark watched practice yesterday with his right knee in a brace and taped. He sprained the medial collateral ligament, head trainer Bubba Tyer said.
"We're just taking it day-to-day," Tyer said. "I think there's a chance he could play this week. He would be questionable if we listed it today."
It appears veteran linebacker Pete Cronan has won himself another week. He was snapping on punts yesterday as rookie center Mike Wooten watched.
Gibbs, speaking for the first time on center Jeff Bostic's placement on injured reserve, said Bostic has come back "great, 100 percent," but added that "mentally, he's not ready to take some shots. He feels uncomfortable doing that right now. He's leery about taking work." . . .
Offensive tackle Mike McClearn dislocated the little finger on his right hand and now is playing with two hurt fingers, Tyer said. "He's having a tough time," Tyer added. A decision on putting McClearn on injured reserve may be made today . . .
Linebacker Stuart Anderson has a mild knee sprain, as does running back Otis Wonsley. Both practiced yesterday . . . Gibbs closed the day's practice to the media.