Argonauts cool on making offer, Rypien learns

Quarterback Mark Rypien, who said he feels "slapped in the face" by the Washington Redskins over his stalled contract negotiations, appears to be getting something of a cold shoulder in Canada.

Even though Rypien attended the Toronto Argonauts' home opener at SkyDome on Thursday night and was cheered when he was introduced to the crowd of more than 36,000, general manager Mike McCarthy said yesterday that the team hasn't decided whether to make a formal offer to Rypien. He said a decision is likely in a week.


McCarthy also said it can't make the kind of big-bucks offer -- a four-year deal estimated at $18 million -- that it made to lure Raghib "Rocket" Ismail to the team last year.

McCarthy said the team is looking at the possibility of lining up a package of corporate sponsors and an endorsement package that might help to lure Rypien, a Canadian citizen.


The speculation in Canada is that if the Argos do make an offer, it wouldn't be for more than $2 million.

The Redskins' latest offer is in the neighborhood of $3 million a year, but Rypien apparently wants to match the $4.43 million that Dan Marino gets from the Miami Dolphins. Marino is the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Washington general manager Charley Casserly said no new talks are scheduled.

Although Rypien said Thursday at Redskin Park at the team's ring ceremony that the two sides were making progress, he took a different tone in Toronto.

"Having the kind of year I had, I didn't figure that I'd have to beg for anything anymore. So you get slapped in the face, and I'd like people to understand . . . that, if there's a situation where I'm not being compensated what I think I should be, I'm more than excited to come up here and play," he said.