Redskins in chase with 49ers for White Allen, Holland meet with team

April 02, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins are dueling with the San Francisco 49ers for the biggest prize in this year's free-agent market -- defensive lineman Reggie White.

As the Redskins welcomed two more free agents, running back Marcus Allen of the Los Angeles Raiders and linebacker Johnny Holland, to Redskin Park, the negotiations with White's agent, Jimmy Sexton, reached the serious stage yesterday.

"We're getting close, but even I don't know how close yet," Sexton said from his office in Memphis, Tenn. Redskins general manager Charley Casserly declined to discuss the specifics of the negotiations.

Although Sexton refuses to rule out the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Green Bay Packers, all indications are that White has narrowed the field to the 49ers and the Redskins.

Sexton has told the two teams that White wants a $16 million deal for four years, but the 49ers are prevented from offering more than $14.4 million for four years because they were a top-four team.

The 49ers are offering to add a fifth year to the deal to make it a $19.3 million package with a $4 million signing bonus, which is close to the $4 million a year number White is seeking. The Redskins had balked at going to $16 million, but may be willing to do it to get him.

White seems torn between the two teams and Sexton said he hopes to make a final decision this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Redskins met with Allen and Holland, although they haven't made a decision on whether to pursue either player.

"Marcus needs no introduction," said Casserly. The Redskins remember when he won the Super Bowl MVP award by rushing for 191 yards in the Los Angeles Raiders' 38-9 victory in Super Bowl XVIII over the Redskins.

"That was so long ago I can't remember that far back," Allen said. "I like to think ahead."

In recent years, Allen became involved in a public feud with Raiders owner Al Davis, and he said it won't feel strange not to wear a Raiders uniform next year.

"I felt as though I wasn't in the uniform even when I was playing," Allen said.

Allen has visited the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs and plans to visit the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. The Redskins also are looking at running back Harold Green of the Cincinnati Bengals and will try to get Allen if they don't get Green.

Holland underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his neck in January. Although the Redskins said their exam showed he's making progress, they'll wait to see if he makes a complete recovery before deciding to bid on him.

Holland would like to get a $5 million contract similar to those free agent linebackers Carlton Bailey and Hardy Nickerson got.

"I was rated way above those guys," Holland said.

The Redskins plan to bring in linebacker Larry Kelm of the Los Angeles Rams today. The Redskins already have made an offer to linebacker Tyrone Stowe of the Phoenix Cardinals, who's also considering an offer from the Pittsburgh Steelers. They hope to sign either Kelm or Stowe.

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