Signs point to full Redskins camp Vets to start early

Ervins only doubt PRO FOOTBALL

July 17, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

When Richie Petitbon calls roll to open his first training camp as head coach of the Washington Redskins tomorrow, all the rookies are expected to be on hand and running back Ricky Ervins is the only veteran who may be AWOL.

That was the upbeat report from general manager Charley Casserly yesterday as he announced he's reached contract terms with all his draft choices. Casserly added that Ervins is the only veteran who's not close, even though he's still hopeful of signing him on time.

By contrast, the Redskins opened camp last year with their top draft pick, Desmond Howard, and key veterans Mark Rypien, Darrell Green and Jim Lachey holding out.

The Redskins' top two picks this year, cornerback Tom Carter and running back Reggie Brooks, both of Notre Dame, signed their deals yesterday and fifth-round pick Greg Huntington, a center from Penn State, came to terms and will sign tomorrow when he arrives at camp.

Carter got a four-year deal worth $2.9 million with a $1.2 million signing bonus. Brooks signed a three-year deal at $1.15 million with a $400,000 signing bonus.

Casserly said the Redskins spent all of their allotted $2 million rookie signing pool, which includes first-year salaries and pro-rated shares of the signing bonus for draft picks but no incentive bonuses this year.

Casserly said Ervins is the only veteran whose contract isn't wrapped up. But Ervins' agent, Ray Newman, said he still hopes to reach a deal in time for Ervins to start camp on time.

Casserly is having so much success coming to terms with veterans this year that he may delay signing some of them so he can take a longer look at some rookie free agents.

The Redskins have 86 players on their roster, but can have only 80 in camp at one time.

Former coach Joe Gibbs used to bring the rookies to camp a week earlier than the veterans so the numbers weren't a problem until the second week. Petitbon is bringing in most of the veterans in this week.

Petitbon said he felt that without veterans, the Redskins were too thin for their first scrimmage, which will be held next Saturday against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Carlisle, Pa.

NOTES: Tight end Don Warren, 37, had to choke back tears as he announced his retirement after 14 years with the Redskins. "I've always said I'll know when it's time to step down. It's time," he said.

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