CARLISLE, PA., AUG. 1 -- The Washington Redskins narrowed their list of unsigned veterans to three this afternoon when running back Gerald Riggs reported to training camp and signed a four-year contract that could be worth an average of $1 million a season.

Riggs, who made $530,000 last season, will receive a base salary believed to be $750,000 for 1990 as well as several performance incentives that could earn him another $100,000. His base salary then increases by about $100,000 each subsequent season.

Those are pretty much the numbers the two sides agreed on several days ago. Only Wilber Marshall ($1.1 million) and Art Monk ($900,000) have higher base salaries in 1990.

The hangup was over how the incentives should be paid. Riggs wanted the money paid in up-front bonuses; the Redskins wanted it written as postseason performance bonuses -- providing them protection were he injured.

Both sides say there were compromises made, but it appears that Riggs -- like safety Todd Bowles three days earlier -- decided to accept much of the package that already was on the table.

Defensive linemen Markus Koch and Darryl Grant and linebacker Ravin Caldwell remain the only holdouts three days into training camp. No progress was made in any of their cases today and it appears that the Redskins have stopped negotiating.

There also was no progress reported in negotiations over a new contract for quarterback Mark Rypien. He's due to earn $275,000 this season, which both sides agree is too little. However, they're far from agreeing on new numbers.

Sources indicate the Redskins offered about $2.4 million over three years, including a $700,000 base salary in 1990. Rypien wants about $1 million a season.

"It just doesn't seem to be a high priority with the Redskins right now," said Rypien's agent, Ken Staninger.

Meanwhile, Riggs didn't take part in tonight's scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but said he'll be in uniform and ready to go at Thursday afternoon's practice.

"It's over with, finally," he said. "There was some compromise on both sides. You're never going to get all you want, but I can certainly live with what I got. It'll be a competitive time and I'm looking forward to getting out there."

He begins camp four days late, behind Earnest Byner on the depth chart and in a three-way competition for playing time with Byner, 27, and Plan B signee James Wilder, 32.

Riggs, 29, refused to be drawn into a debate about the matter, saying only that "Earnest is entitled to believe that he should start. He finished last season as the starter. This is going to be a good situation. People say we've got a couple of old men in the backfield. I don't think we're that old, and I don't think we're going to play that way. I welcome the competition. I think we're going to push one another. At this point in my career {ninth season}, it's even more of a test."

But the Redskins may think Riggs is their man. He cost them first- and second-round draft choices and he is the NFC's second-leading active rusher with 7,465 yards and 52 touchdowns. And it's Riggs who has proven he can be the workhorse running back Coach Joe Gibbs loves even in a year when the offense may be built around Rypien and the Posse.

He was everything they hoped for when he led the NFL with 658 yards after seven weeks in 1989. But sore ribs and a bruised arch kept him on the bench much of the rest of the season and he finished with just 834 yards -- 14th in the NFL. He said the memory of not being able to help his new teammates has stuck with him.

"Those things are going to happen," he said. "When you put your name on the dotted line, you never know how long you're going to be out there. The last couple of years haven't been my best, but those things are going to happen. You get on a roll and then something like that happens. There's nothing you can do. I've been hurt before, but that one last year was one I just couldn't play through."

Riggs hopes to be different this year. He said last season's injuries might have resulted from using a different training schedule while trying to please a new organization.

"The Redskins like to have us around in the summer," he said. "I understand they want the camaraderie and all, but that's not the way I've done it."

After last season, he told Gibbs what he thought. "We clashed over that," Riggs said. "I knew it wouldn't go across well. I told him I tried to fit in and that it kind of backfired. He said there was a difference from what he'd seen in Atlanta and he told me to do what I had to do to get ready."

So Riggs did it his way: He flew to Arizona for two months and did his running and weight lifting in the 100-degree heat around Arizona State (his alma mater). He admitted the change may be more mental than physical, but begins this season "feeling better than ever."

"I'm serious when I'm out there" in Arizona, he said. "Especially after what happened last year. I think I'm very much 100 percent, but the true test will come when I put the pads on."

Still, he couldn't be happier. He said he was happy to be getting out of Atlanta and happy to be with a team that likes to throw the ball.