The Washington Redskins, who gave Frank Wycheck a chance Monday, gave him some competition yesterday.
Wycheck, the University of Maryland tight end who was phased out last year when the team went to the run-and-shoot offense, was the only tight end the Redskins drafted when they took him in the sixth round.
But two of the first six undrafted free agents the Redskins signed yesterday were tight ends from big-name schools.
They signed Alan Cross, an All-Big Ten player who caught 96 passes at Iowa, including 55 last year, and Yonnie Jackson, who caught 47 passes at Southern Cal, although only eight last year when he lost his starting job after reporting to camp overweight and injuring his ankle.
The result is that Wycheck will be involved in a four-way battle for the fourth and final tight end spot on the 47-man roster. There is, however, a good chance a fifth one will be kept either when the roster is expanded to 53 players after the final cut or when the practice squad players are signed.
The fourth player in the battle will be Ray Rowe, a sixth-round draft pick a year ago who was activated from the practice squad late last season.
The two starting tight ends are Terry Orr and Ron Middleton, with James Jenkins, who was on injured reserve for the first 11 weeks of last year, expected to be the third tight end.
Don Warren has opened up a spot by retiring.
The other four free agents the Redskins signed were wide receivers Vince Jordan of Central Missouri State and Michael LeSure of Ball State, linebacker Kurt Loertscher of Washington State and center Randall Parsons of North Carolina.
The Redskins expect to sign several more undrafted free agents before the start of next weekend's minicamp and are pursuing two veteran free agents -- linebacker Johnny Holland and running back Marcus Allen.
After drafting Reggie Brooks, the Redskins have no immediate need for a running back, but figure Allen could be used as a third-down receiver out of the backfield.