Redskins sign Coleman again

June 30, 1994|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

Linebacker Monte Coleman signed a one-year, $400,000 deal yesterday to play his 16th season for the Washington Redskins, which will tie him with Hall of Famer Sammy Baugh for the longest tenure with the team.

Coleman, 36, showed no signs of slowing down last year, when he tied for the team lead in sacks with six. He has 56 career sacks, tied with Diron Talbert for fourth on the Redskins' all-time list behind Dexter Manley, Charles Mann and Dave Butz, all defensive linemen.

Coleman's sack total last year was the second most in his career. He had 10 1/2 sacks in 1984.

He said he hopes to come back next year for a 17th season.

Coleman has played 200 games in a Redskin uniform and would break Art Monk's record of 205 games when he plays his sixth game this year.

Although he said that he has a "lonesome" feeling because Monk and so many other veterans are gone, Coleman said: "I don't look at myself as the grandpa [of the team] even though I am. I've going to do the things I've done in the past."

Coleman joined the team as an 11th-round draft pick out of Central Arkansas in 1979. Only one other current Redskin (Darrell Green, a first-round pick in 1983) joined the team before 1985.

The signing of Coleman left the Redskins with only slightly more than $500,000 to spend under the $34.6 million salary cap. That means they'll have to cut almost $2.3 million from the payroll to reach the $2.8 million rookie pool to sign quarterback Heath Shuler and the other rookies.

General manager Charley Casserly wouldn't discuss the players who are likely to get pay cuts or be released to make room for the rookies. But he said there's still a role for middle linebacker Kurt Gouveia, who is scheduled to earn $1.02 million but is likely to be asked to take a pay cut to about $500,000. The Redskins signed Tyronne Stowe of the Arizona Cardinals for that figure, and he'll likely have to beat out Gouveia for a starting job.

Talking about the effects of the salary cap, Coleman said: "I really feel sorry for the other brothers who didn't get an opportunity to get contracts. I'm not in favor of the salary cap. I think it's hurting the older players who've been around and produced, and it's even hurting some young guys."

NOTE: The Redskins will hold their first Family Day on July 9 at Laurel Race Course, where new coach Norv Turner and players Darrell Green, Jim Lachey, Ricky Ervins and Tom Carter will sign autographs and teach kids ages 6 to 16 how to punt, pass and kick during a skills clinic. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and there will be free parking. Enter through the racetrack entrance on Route 198.

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