Marshall may be on trade block Redskins worried about salary cap PRO FOOTBALL

March 14, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

The Washington Redskins have offered to trade linebacker Wilber Marshall, a team source said last night.

The Redskins have told teams they're willing to trade Marshall because of salary-cap considerations.

The Redskins designated Marshall a "franchise player," which means he can't negotiate with any other team and must be offered an average of the top five highest-paid linebackers, which is $1.635 million. He made $1.3 million last year.

But Marshall can still hold out for any figure he wants, and he's expected to ask for close to $3 million.

Since it's likely a salary cap will be imposed next year and the Redskins are already over the proposed cap, they could help themselves stay under the cap by paring his salary from their payroll. At age 31, he doesn't have many years left.

Marshall recently went to court in an attempt to overturn the franchise designation. Although The Boston Globe speculated that the court action may have influenced the Redskins' decision to try to trade him, a team source said the court action was no factor in the decision to shop him around the league.

Marshall's unhappy because he came to the Redskins from the Chicago Bears in 1988 as a free agent for two No. 1 draft picks and a five-year, $6 million contract under the old restricted system. Now he can't move under the new system, which is less restrictive for all but the eight players designated as franchise players.

Judge David Doty initially ruled against Marshall's attempt to get the franchise designation lifted. But Doty invited Marshall to file an objection on April 16 when he's planning to hold a hearing on the settlement between the NFL owners and players.

There's also a chance the Redskins won't be able to swing a trade for Marshall. If they don't, Marshall is likely to hold out the entire training camp the way Jim Lachey and Darrell Green did last year.

The one free agent the Redskins have brought in for a visit is a NTC linebacker, Bill Romanowski of the San Francisco 49ers. But they may not be able to bid for him because his new contract may fall into the $1 million to $1.5 million range.

The Redskins can sign only one player for more than $1.5 million and they're wooing Reggie White of the Philadelphia Eagles for that slot.

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