Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware ended his holdout last night by signing a four-year Detroit Lions contract worth an estimated $1.2 million per year.
Ware, a prolific passer who passed up his senior season at the University of Houston, was the Lions' first choice in the NFL draft. He is the second Heisman winner the Lions picked in two seasons. Barry Sanders signed two days before the 1989 season and went on to lead the NFC in rushing, earning rookie of the year honors.
Ware attended all the Lions' minicamps following the draft but stayed home when regular camp opened. He was believed to be seeking $2 million per year but the Lions were offering $1.1 million.
Saturday, second-year quarterback Rodney Peete was extremely sharp in guiding the Lions to their third preseason win. Ware obviously felt it was time to give in.
"I have to play catch-up now," Ware said.
The Lions waived holdover linebacker Delmar Chesley, of the noted Washington, D.C., football family.
Jets: Unsigned second-round draft pick Reggie Rembert, wide receiver from West Virginia, was traded to Cincinnati for linebacker Joe Kelly and tackle Scott Jones.
Packers: Convinced Don Majkowski won't be ready for the first game when and if he ends his holdout, Green Bay named Anthony Dilweg its starting quarterback for the Sept. 9 opener against the Los Angeles Rams. Dilweg, last season as a Packers rookie, threw only one pass as backup.
Veteran tight end John Spagnola and defensive back Van Jakes were among 14 players cut. So was Kirk Baumgartner, the second most prolific passer in college football history with 13,028 yards at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Bears: Defensive lineman Steve McMichael ended his holdout.
"Until this morning, we thought he'd be traded to Houston," said the 10-year pro's agent.
McMichael had wanted his current pact renegotiated to raise his salary from $500,000 to $800,000 for 1990 and bring his wages in line with those of other top linemen in the NFL. Terms were not disclosed but the Bears stood firm on $42,000 in fines for missing practice, which McMichael had balked at paying. The money will be donated to charity, the team said.
Chargers: Rookie linebacker Junior Seau reported and signed a five-year, $4.5 million contract that left him feeling underpaid.
"It's not the best but we're willing to deal," said San Diego's first-round draft pick from Southern Cal.
Falcons: Atlanta signed holdout offensive lineman Chris Hinton, released 15 players and apparently broke off negotiations on a possible deal for all-pro guard Bill Fralic. Still holdouts: nose tackle Tony Casillas and center Guy Bingham.
Hinton, the all-pro who came with receiver Andre Rison from Indianapolis in exchange for the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft (Jeff George), signed a series of four one-year contracts and practiced for the first time with his new club.
Hinton agreed to terms late last week. He reportedly will make more than $1.1 million per year.
Bills: Pro Bowl running back Thurman Thomas and linebacker Shane Conlan came to terms, ending holdouts. Buffalo will make Thomas a millionaire today in a four-year contract replacing one that had two years left. Conlan signed a three-year deal worth about $870,000 per year.
Cowboys: Jesse Solomon, who had a tentative agreement on the weekend, turned down the team's offer and owner Jerry Jones said: "I don't think Jesse Solomon will be a Dallas Cowboy in 1990. We're looking at all the options we have now."
Solomon, who came to the Cowboys from Minnesota in the Herschel Walker trade last season, flew home to Florida on Sunday.
Dolphins: Miami will keep youngsters Scott Secules and Scott Mitchell as backup quarterbacks and let veteran Cliff Stoudt go, Coach Don Shula said.
Secules, from Virginia, joined the Dolphins last year as No. 2 behind Dan Marino. Mitchell is a fourth-round draftee from Utah.
Saints: Ninth-year quarterback Dave Wilson said he no longer considers himself part of the team and left camp, though he wasn't among yesterday's cuts.
Among the cuts were three draft choices, including Gerry Gdowski, drafted as a quarterback (Nebraska) and moved to defensive back.
Wilson said he felt there was a "very strong possibility" he would be cut, anyway, so he went to Coach Jim Mora and tried to force an immediate decision. "I spoke to him to say there's no need to wait, there's no reason for me to just hang out," Wilson said.
Buccaneers: Tampa Bay made Pete Najarian, a third-year linebacker who made his mark on special teams in 1989, among eight players waived. It was the ninth time Najarian has been cut by an NFL team -- three times by Tampa Bay, five times by the Vikings.
Browns: Fullback Tim Manoa went on season-long injured reserve because of his elbow injury from Saturday's loss to the Redskins.
Raiders: Cuts included three Plan B veterans (linebackers Bruce Klostermann and Joe Campbell, safety George Streeter).
Seahawks: Released two veterans -- linebacker Dave Ahrens and wide receiver Mark Bellini.
Oilers: Houston cut rookie quarterback Reggie Slack of Auburn.