Negotiations with Howard stall


LOS ANGELES -- The Washington Redskins' hopes of getting Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard signed this weekend were apparently --ed last night.

General manager Charley Casserly talked to Howard's agent, Leigh Steinberg, on the phone after the Redskins arrived here for today's game against the Los Angeles Raiders.

But there was no change in either side's position. Casserly said he planned to talk to Steinberg again today, but wasn't optimistic a deal would be struck.

The two sides are only $25,000 apart, but neither side is willing to budge.

Howard, the fourth player picked in this year's draft, wants $1.5 million a year, the same figure that Sean Gilbert, the third player selected, got from the Los Angeles Rams.

The Redskins are offering $1.45 million. They refuse to match Gilbert's base salary, but say their offer is better than Gilbert's because it includes incentive bonuses and because it's a four-year deal instead of five.

The Redskins don't have much urgency in signing Howard because wide receiver is one of their strongest positions, with Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders. Also, with Howard missing all of training camp, he doesn't figure to make an immediate impact even if he does sign soon.

Jeff Moorad, Steinberg's partner and the agent for holdout Jim Lachey, also talked to Casserly. But they didn't close the gap. The two sides haven't even agreed on the length of the contract. The Redskins want a three-year deal while Lachey is attempting to get a two-year deal.

The Redskins also are far apart with holdout Darrell Green, who wants about $1.8 million. The Redskins are offering $1.2 million.

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