Cornerback Darrell Green has decided not to defend his DHL/NFL's Fastest Man title, but the Washington Redskins still have a chance to retain the crown.
Desmond Howard, the Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan who was drafted on the first round by the Redskins, will become the first rookie to compete in the contest that will be held on June 6 in Palm Desert, Calif.
Green has won it all four years he has competed including last year, but decided not to enter this year because he's been busy with post-Super Bowl activity and doesn't have time to train. Ron Brown of the Los Angeles Raiders, who won it the two years that Green didn't compete, also isn't competing. That means the third champion in the seven-year history of the event will be crowned.
Also competing this year will be Alexander Wright of the Dallas Cowboys, Willie Gault of the Los Angeles Raiders, Clarence Verdin of the Indianapolis Colts, Mel Gray of the Detroit Lions, James Williams of the Buffalo Bills, Michael Haynes of the Atlanta Falcons and Randal Hill of the Phoenix Cardinals.
The tape of the competition will be televised by NBC on Aug. 16 after the telecast of the Redskins-San Francisco exhibition game from London. A total of $70,000 in prize money will be awarded, including $25,000 to the winner.