HERNDON, VA. — Just two years after the Washington Redskins invested first- and second-round draft choices in Gerald Riggs, they waived the veteran running back yesterday.
Riggs was one of 13 players the Redskins put on waivers to get their roster down to the final limit of 47 players, but he's one of the players they plan to re-sign today if he clears waivers.
The Redskins doubt any other team will claim because of his age (30) and salary ($825,000 base salary and $175,000 roster bonus). The Redskins also haven't had any trade offers for Riggs.
Since they were unable to trade quarterback Stan Humphries, they kept him along with their three other quarterbacks -- Mark Rypien, Jeff Rutledge and Cary Conklin -- but coach Joe Gibbs said he'd wait until today to announce his backup quarterback behind Rypien.
That the Redskins figure that no other team thinks he's a million-dollar player shows how quickly his value has dropped since the Redskins gave up a first-round pick in 1990 and a second-round pick in 1989 to the Atlanta Falcons to get him two years ago.
Riggs was supposed to be the new John Riggins but wound up being hobbled by arch injuries most of the past two years and lost the No. 1 running back spot to Earnest Byner.
But general manager Charley Casserly and Gibbs said it was too early to write off the trade as a failure.
Gibbs said: "I think we've got to see when this is all over. We'll have to wait and see. He's not through playing yet. If somebody else claims him, they must want him, right. If they don't and we bring him back here, we must want him."
Gibbs said Riggs' salary is one reason why he might not be claimed.
"I think that's kind of obvious. There are some guys making a lot of money and it makes it tough. You've just got to take your best shots," he said.
Casserly said: "I don't think you can make an evaluation on that trade until Gerald's career is over. Gerald's career is not over. Jim Plunkett was on waivers and won a Super Bowl. Being on dTC waivers doesn't mean anything."
Gibbs also refused to clarify his quarterback situation, and Humphries' agent, Kevin Scanlon, said the Redskins only told him that Humphries remains a member of the team.
It won't be surprising if the Redskins keep him for a few weeks in the hopes that some team will get desperate for a quarterback. They'd like to get more than the conditional fourth-round choice the Los Angeles Raiders got from the Dallas Cowboys for Steve Beuerlein.
It also wouldn't be surprising if Gibbs names Rutledge as his backup quarterback today so he'd be able to hold for kicker Chip Lohmiller.
That would mean that Conklin would dress as the 46th player and could play only if the Redskins' first two quarterbacks were injured.
But if Rypien was injured and Rutledge wasn't effective, Rutledge could suffer an "injury" that would permit Conklin to enter the game. The Redskins have been creative with injuries in the past.
To keep four quarterbacks, the Redskins had to cut Stephen Hobbs and keep only three receivers. But if Hobbs clears waivers, he'll be one of the players resigned today.
"You know the procedure," Hobbs said.
If Hobbs is claimed (he had 10 receptions in the exhibition season to tie Art Monk and finish one behind Ricky Sanders), the Redskins could re-sign Walter Stanley or Joe Johnson.
Tight end Ken Whisenhunt, cornerback Sydney Johnson and offensive lineman Mark Adickes are also candidates to return.
Two roster spots will be created today when tight end Don Warren and cornerback A.J. Johnson go on the injured reserve list. The Redskins also figure to put two or three more players on the IR list. Offensive lineman Mo Elewonibi and Russ Grimm, who have knee injuries, are among the candidates.
It's unlikely the Redskins will claim any players cut by the other teams, and they said they have no interest in picking up defensive lineman Dexter Manley, who was cut by the Phoenix Cardinals yesterday.
"I think we made our position on Dexter quite clear last year [when they cut him after he was reinstated]. I hope for Dexter's sake he has a job. We like him," Casserly said.
The senior player waived was 11-year veteran Darryl Grant, who suffered a torn muscle at the start of training camp.
Only six new players -- rookies Bobby Wilson and Ricky Ervins and Plan B players Matt Millen, Danny Copeland, Terry Hoage and John Settle -- made the club.
Although only Wilson -- the first-round choice -- and Ervins -- the third-round choice -- made the club from this year's draft crop, the draft was better than it looks because they traded their second-round pick for a first-round choice next year and traded two other picks for defensive linemen Tim Johnson and Eric Williams.
The Redskins also were left with 12 of the 31 Plan B players they've signed the past three years and could add three more today if Hobbs, Adickes and Whisenhunt are re-signed.
The Redskins must wait to see if all the players they want clear waivers.
Running back: Gerald Riggs