Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann has signed a two-year contract with a bonus designed to reimburse him for past performances, but the contract is not guaranteed, it was learned today.
Theismann, 36, who is recovering from a broken right leg, would have to make the team to receive money under the new contract. That apparently is a standard feature on all Redskins contracts.
If Theismann, whose status for the 1986 season is uncertain, does not return to the team, he will receive only the bonus.
Terms of the contract and the bonus were not disclosed.
Pro Bowl wide receiver Art Monk also has signed a new three-year contract. Terms of that agreement were not disclosed.
Theismann's old contract expired at the end of the 1985 season. He earned $405,000 in 1985, according to figures obtained from the National Football League Players Association. He did not receive a bonus.
Theismann reportedly reached agreement with the team on a two-year extension through the 1987 season in July 1984, but that extension never was signed.
The new contract culminates a long series of negotiations between Theismann, owner Jack Kent Cooke, General Manager Bobby Beathard and Coach Joe Gibbs.
None of them has commented publicly on the negotiations.
If Theismann returns and makes the team, the contract will take him through the 1987 season and his 38th birthday.
"I'm delighted that Joe is so keen on returning and continuing to be a member of the Redskins," Cooke said tonight when reached by telephone. "He's done wonderful work for us in the past."
Theismann could not be reached for comment.
In an interview last week, however, Theismann said his only plans involved "being able to walk and run on two good legs. What happens after that, who knows?"
The new contract apparently changes little in Theismann's attempt to come back from a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in his right leg, suffered when he was sacked in a game against the New York Giants Nov. 18.
Theismann, who said before that game that he was in the midst of his "worst" season as the Redskins' quarterback, apparently has lost the starting job to Jay Schroeder, his replacement.
Gibbs said after the Redskins' 10-6 season ended that Schroeder, 24, deserved a shot at the No. 1 job.
The Redskins were 5-5 under Theismann; 5-1 under Schroeder.
This week, Dr. Charles Jackson, the Redskins' team doctor, removed Theismann's cast and replaced it with a brace. His rehabilitation seems to be several weeks ahead of schedule.
Monk, 28, made $190,000 last season, according to NFLPA figures. After setting an NFL record in 1984 with 106 receptions, he led the Redskins with 91 in 1985.
He was selected to start in the Pro Bowl for a second consecutive year.
The Redskins also have sent qualifying offers to eight players who are free agents: running backs John Riggins and George Rogers; defensive end Dexter Manley; linebacker Monte Coleman; tight end Clint Didier; safety Ken Coffey; punter Steve Cox, and tackle Dan McQuaid.
The Redskins also announced they are exercising the option year of the following players' contracts for next season: center Jeff Bostic; linebackers Mel Kaufman, Stuart Anderson and Darnell Dailey; punter Jeff Hayes; running backs Otis Wonsley and Reggie Branch; tight end Anthony Jones; safety Greg Williams, and wide receiver Joe Phillips.
Riggins skipped a presentation of former Super Bowl Most Valuable Players this afternoon at the Superdome.
As former Green Bay Packer quarterback Bart Starr, introducing each winner to the media, came to Riggins' name, he smiled.
"What can I say about this next guy? I guess his not being here says most of it . . . He's in a class by himself."
Former Pittsburgh running back Franco Harris and Dallas defensive lineman Randy White also missed the festivities.
Riggins, who was spotted in the Hyatt Regency Hotel across the street from the Superdome an hour before the news conference, could not be reached for comment.
There have been 17 winners of the award. Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana each have won it twice. There has been one tie: White and teammate Harvey Martin in 1978.