Rypien turns down $1 million QB, Mayhew absent from Redskins camp

July 22, 1991|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Correspondent

CARLISLE, Pa. -- Mark Rypien has proved he's strong-willed.

The 28-year-old quarterback has earned the unique distinction of being the only player to hold out after being offered $1 million in base salary by Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke.

Rypien and cornerback Martin Mayhew were the only players holding out yesterday when coach Joe Gibbs called roll for the first meeting of veterans. Rypien will start his second week as a holdout when the veterans start practice today.

Gibbs, who wants Rypien as his starter over Stan Humphries, downplayed the holdout, even though Rypien's agent, Ken Staninger, and Redskins general manager Charley Casserly didn't talk during the weekend.

Gibbs, who talked with Rypien on Friday night, said: "My feeling is that we're close. I don't think I can saying anything more than that. It's not anything insurmountable. That's what I get. It's something that should be worked out."

But if it's going to be worked out, Rypien is going to have to lower his sights.

Rypien points to the $1.75 million contract that Don Majkowski signed with the Green Bay Packers this year.

The Redskins point to the $1.2 million pacts signed by Jay Schroeder of the Los Angeles Raiders and Jeff Hostetler of the New York Giants, who both have accomplished more than Rypien.

Rypien is taking a chance on annoying Cooke, who will make the final decision.

When Casserly was asked what Cooke thinks of the holdout, he said, "I don't answer questions about what Jack Kent Cooke thinks."

But Casserly knows Cooke has a history of taking offers off the table if a player holds out too long.

Rypien doesn't have a lot of leverage because Cooke remembers Rypien's three interceptions in the second half of the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers last season.

Cooke still is offering to make Rypien the fourth player in Redskins history to make more than $1 million in base salary. Doug Williams, Wilber Marshall and Art Monk, who is reaching that plateau this year, were the first three.

Joe Theismann had a package worth more than $1 million a year that would have kicked in at the start of the 1986 season, but he suffered a career-ending broken leg in 1985 when he still was making $405,000. He wound up getting his money from an

insurance company.

Given that background, it seems Cooke won't raise his offer. When Staninger and Casserly resume talks today, the question is whether Rypien will risk losing his job to Humphries by continuing the holdout.

Staninger has said all along he's optimistic the two sides will reach an agreement, but he's running out of time if the holdout isn't going to hurt Rypien's future.

"We don't have much time, so anything anybody misses for us takes on special significance," Gibbs said.

Mayhew, the other holdout, also doesn't have a lot of leverage because he could lose his starting job to A.J. Johnson if he holds out a long time. When Ravin Caldwell held out last year, he lost a starting linebacker slot to Andre Collins.

The Redskins are in the $300,000-$350,000 range. Mayhew's agent, Phil Williams, wants more than $400,000.

"They have presented an offer to Martin that is not what we consider to be fair," Williams said.

Gibbs was happy to see the rest of the veterans in camp because he was running short on numbers with rookies last week because of the 80-man roster limit.

"The first week was a struggle, but there was a lot of work for the young guys. I was holding our breath we'd get through it [without more injuries]," he said.

The player who probably helped himself the most the first week was quarterback Cary Conklin, who went all 80 plays in the two scrimmages.

"That was his week," Gibbs said to explain why he held Humphries and Jeff Rutledge out of the scrimmages to get more time to look at Conklin.

NOTES: Second-year OT Mohammed Elewonibi suffered a sprained knee on the first play of the scrimmage and will miss a few days of camp. That was a setback for the youngster, who had a good first week of camp. . . . C Dan Beaty left camp, leaving the Redskins with 4 roster moves to make to cut the roster to 82. A team is allowed 80 players, but Rypien and Mayhew don't count because they're not signed.

Washington's million-dollar club

Here are the Washington Redskins who have earned $1 million or more per season:

1988

Doug Williams $1 million

1989

Doug Williams $1.1 million

Wilber Marshall $1 million

1990

Wilber Marshall $1.1 million

1991

Wilber Marshall $1.2 million

Art Monk $1 million

Mark Rypien ??????

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