General Manager Bobby Beathard, who is entering the last year of his contract with the Washington Redskins, is close to signing a new, extended contract with the team.
Evidence of Beathard's intentions came, ironically enough, from the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon at the National Football League winter meetings.
Cowboys President Tex Schramm told The Washington Post he recently called Beathard to check on his status with the Redskins.
The Cowboys reorganized their front office and created the position of pro personnel director, which has not been filled.
Schramm said he told Beathard he had heard what have become persistent league-wide rumors that Beathard might become the San Diego Chargers' general manager in 1987.
Schramm quoted Beathard as saying, "No, I'm very happy where I am."
Said Schramm: "As I understand it, he has a new contract, or is in the process of signing one."
Beathard declined comment on his negotiations with the Redskins.
Owner Jack Kent Cooke, reached by phone at his Middleburg, Va., estate, refused comment on the specifics of negotiations with Beathard.
"I expect Bobby will be with the Redskins as long as I'll be with the Redskins, which I expect will be a very long time," Cooke said.
There was no indication when the deal would be completed, or what Beathard's new contract would be worth.
Terms of Beathard's present contract have never been disclosed.
Beathard, 49, who has been the Redskins' general manager since 1978, occasionally receives queries from NFL teams.
Chargers owner Alex Spanos said he and Beathard have talked about the Chargers' situation, but they "never had a conversation about Beathard joining" the team.
"I told Bobby he's quite a kid," Spanos said today. "But he's tied up with the Redskins and it looks like he'll be there for quite a while."
Furthermore, San Diego General Manager John Sanders has two years remaining on his contract. Previous reports out of San Diego said Sanders had one year remaining.
Cooke said last fall that he planned to negotiate a new contract with Beathard before the old one expired at the end of the 1986 season.
Rumors about an eventual move to California have followed Beathard for about 10 years, from his days as player personnel director of the Miami Dolphins.
"People always asked me when I would go back to California," Beathard said at the end of last season. "Maybe people don't feel I fit into an Eastern image."
Beathard is from California and visits there often. His parents live in Oceanside, Calif., 30 miles north of San Diego. Beathard has invested in a condominium in Leucadia, south of Oceanside, and eventually plans to live there.
"When Bobby retires from football, he'll go to San Diego," Cooke said last season.
Although Beathard was known to be unhappy with the Redskins' decision to keep veteran kicker Mark Moseley and trade Tony Zendejas last summer, he has praised the Redskins organization in general.
"It's the best situation I've been in in football," he said.
"We have the best of everything," he added, "except we don't have a beach."