Quarterback Joe Theismann, whose status with the Washington Redskins is uncertain for the 1986 season even though he recently signed a two-year contract, apparently is investigating opportunities with other National Football League teams in the event he does not return to the Redskins.
Although any trade talk would have to be initiated by the Redskins, sources said Theismann has made at least one inquiry about the prospects of playing for another team. Theismann, who is recovering from a compound fracture of his lower right leg, would not comment about his reported interest in other teams.
"Talk to the Redskins," he said. "Talk to the Redskins."
General Manager Bobby Beathard said he knew of no conversations between Theismann and any other NFL team. He also said there has been no trade talk regarding Theismann between the Redskins and other teams.
In the last few weeks, Theismann's name has been linked to the Los Angeles Raiders, the Los Angeles Rams and the Atlanta Falcons.
Falcons Coach Dan Henning, a former Redskins assistant head coach, did not deny an interest in Theismann.
"I am interested in all football players who can help the Atlanta Falcons," said Henning, who left the Redskins after they won the Super Bowl in 1982. "If that would end up being the case (with Theismann), we would be interested."
He said Theismann left a message for him at his hotel in New Orleans during Super Bowl week, but the two "never did connect."
Henning installed an offense similar to the Redskins' in Atlanta and has obtained former Redskins running back Joe Washington and wide receiver Charlie Brown in the past year. The Falcons had a 4-12 record in 1985 and it is believed Henning, who has a 15-33 record in his three seasons in Atlanta, needs to have a winning season in 1986 to save his job.
All indications are that Henning is in the market for a veteran quarterback to serve as a back-up or spot starter with second-year quarterback David Archer.
Officials from the Raiders and Rams said they have not spoken with Theismann.
Both teams likely will be looking for a quarterback for next season, and Los Angeles undoubtedly would appeal to Theismann for two reasons: television personality Cathy Lee Crosby, Theismann's fiance, lives there, and Theismann is expected to seek a career in television after football.
Responding to a Los Angeles television report this week that the Raiders had an interest in Theismann, Raiders Coach Tom Flores told the Los Angeles Herald Examiner: "We have no interest in Theismann. Theismann doesn't even really fit our style."
Raiders executive assistant Al LoCasale said there has been "no conversation between our team and Theismann that I'm aware of."
Jack Faulkner, administrator of football operations for the Rams, said his team has not spoken with Theismann.
Theismann, 36, recently signed a two-year contract, including a bonus, with the Redskins. Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but it is not guaranteed.
Theismann was in the midst of what he said was his "worst" season when he was injured Nov. 18 as he was being sacked in a game with the New York Giants.
Jay Schroeder, Theismann's replacement, led the 10-6 Redskins to a 5-1 finish. When the season ended, Coach Joe Gibbs said Schroeder, 24, deserved a chance to be the No. 1 quarterback.