SAN DIEGO, FEB. 1 -- Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs said this morning that Super Bowl hero Doug Williams will be his starting quarterback going into the 1988 preseason and that it is "a tough thing" for a team to have two high-priced quarterbacks like Williams and Jay Schroeder on the roster.

Williams said he expects the Redskins to initiate a renegotiation of his contract, which means it's likely he will end up with a contract much higher than the $475,000 he made during the 1987 season. Williams' contract runs through next season. Schroeder signed a three-year deal believed to be worth about $2.7 million before the 1987 season.

Williams, who threw for a Super Bowl-record 340 yards in the Redskins' 42-10 victory over Denver in Super Bowl XXII, is likely to command a similar salary.

Gibbs said he expects Schroeder and third-string quarterback Mark Rypien to compete with Williams in training camp, but also acknowledged that the club will have to decide just how top heavy its payroll can get.

"That's one of the things we'll start wrassling with now," Gibbs said in a news conference at the San Diego Marriott. "That is a tough thing. You've got two high-paid quarterbacks. That's something we're going to have to work with and Mr. Cooke {owner Jack Kent} is going to have to decide what he's going to do. We'll all talk about it. I tell him as a coach that these are guys I want to keep. And so far, every time I've said that, {Cooke has} kept them."

Williams played most of the Super Bowl with a strained left knee and had trouble walking this morning when he arrived for his news conference as the game's most valuable player.

Gibbs considered taking Williams out of the game late in the first half, but Williams said he told Gibbs no and stayed in to throw an eight-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clint Didier.

Williams, who was injured when he slipped and fell setting up to pass late in the first quarter, was replaced by Schroeder for two plays before returning. He said the fall "popped some scar tissue" in his knee, causing it to be sore and swollen today. He said he could not get to sleep last night because the pain was so intense.

"I knew I had five months to get well," Williams said. "It scared me at first until I was able to get up on my own . . . I knew if I could get up on my own, I knew I was going to go back in. Coach Gibbs and I would have had a fight {if Gibbs had said he could not go back in}."

At halftime, Williams said he took two Tylenol 3 pills to kill the pain and had his knee rewrapped.

"The bottom line for me and the Redskins was to win the Super Bowl," Williams said. "Whatever happens after that, I'll be prepared to deal with that."

The Super Bowl was not over for even 15 hours when Gibbs first addressed the issue of a quarterback situation in the 1988 season. Williams is No. 1 on the depth chart, but just as Gibbs has said in previous years, there will be competition for the job.

"Everybody competes," Gibbs said. "Whatever happens from camp on, Jay will have a chance to compete, which I think Doug would expect and Jay would. Mark is in there, too. Obviously, everything that happens makes you lean toward guys. I do think Doug and Jay are close, much closer than what it was before. Eventually Doug wound up playing, but I think they're still both excellent quarterbacks who can win.

"It's {based on} whatever happens in camp. If one guy just isn't performing well and the other guy definitely looks better, I hope I'd have enough guts to {change}."

Gibbs consistently has denied that the Redskins are considering trading Schroeder. However, if Schroeder were traded, the team would have to rely on Rypien as its backup to Williams. And Gibbs brought up Rypien's name twice in quarterback conversations today.

"I think he's a factor," Gibbs said of the second-year pro from Washington State. "I think he's been a factor the whole time. We feel good about him being there. So he's been something that's figured in our mind the whole time. We like him. I want to see him play more."

Gibbs was asked if Rypien could be a starter.

"Down the road, yeah," Gibbs said. "We just like everything we've seen about him. We haven't seen him play, so that's a big quesion mark. I'd like to play him a lot {in preseason}."

Williams, who has one year remaining on the three-year deal he signed in 1986 to be the Redskins' backup quarterback, knows he is a hot property now.

"I don't think I'll have to go to them," Williams said about renegotiating. "When I talked to {General Manager} Bobby Beathard about it earlier in the season, all he said was, 'All you have to do is play. Money is not a problem.' I don't think I have to go in and say to them, 'Redo my contract.' I expect them to call me."

The Redskins have 14 players whose contracts expired today. The most prominent free agents are center Russ Grimm, linebacker Monte Coleman, cornerback Barry Wilburn, guard R.C. Thielemann, kicker Ali Haji-Sheikh and defensive tackle Darryl Grant. Also on the list are Rypien, running backs Keith Griffin and Reggie Branch, linebacker Anthony Copeland, defensive lineman Steve Hamilton, tight ends Anthony Jones and Terry Orr and cornerback Dennis Woodberry.

Gibbs said it wouldn't surprise him if other players wanted to get better deals.

"You're going to have all the problems that start occuring with teams that do very well," he said. "A week from now, there's going to be about 10 guys knocking on the door, wanting to renegotiate their contracts. And here we go. It's human nature all over again."

Controversial defensive end Dexter Manley, who has two more seasons left on his contract, said after the game he doesn't know where he fits in for next season, but Gibbs had an answer for him.

"The same way Dexter's fit in for the last seven seasons," Gibbs said with a chuckle. "I think Dexter said that after the first season. I'm not concerned about it."

Running back Timmy Smith and wide receiver Ricky Sanders are not free agents, but they will receive plenty of attention this offseason. Both set Super Bowl records, Smith for rushing yards with 204, Sanders for receiving yards with 193.

Gibbs denied he engaged in "subterfuge" by announcing George Rogers as his starting running back and then starting Smith, a rookie who had never started an NFL game before.

"I wasn't trying to trick somebody," Gibbs said. "I had said earlier in the week that one thing I was a little worried about was George Rogers' health . . . He wasn't 100 percent. He hasn't been all year."

Rogers rushed only five times for 17 yards late in the game. His future with the team is definitely in doubt.

Gibbs admitted he would "take the blame" for not working Smith into his offense more during the regular season. Smith played in just two games before his role increased late in the season.

"I think that tells you I'm not real sharp," Gibbs said with a smile. "I should have had him in more than I did."