Compromise helping replay get 2nd look Exhibition experiment proposed for '96 season; NFL meetings


PALM BEACH, Fla. - Charley Casserly is likely to find out today whether he can bring back instant replay by making a series of compromises.

The general manager of the Washington Redskins, facing a 4-3 negative vote in the competition committee, yesterday made several moves to try to win over skeptics. He withdrew his proposal that all scoring, sideline and change of possession calls be reviewed to concentrate on getting approval for a challenge system in which each team would get three challenges per half.

This system, under which a team would lose a timeout if it challenged a play and it wasn't overturned, originally was used in the now-defunct United States Football League.

Casserly also agreed to an experiment with sideline monitors during the 1996 exhibition season, before it is implemented in 1997. By using sideline monitors, the referee would be able to overturn calls. That would keep the game on the field and win over some opponents who didn't like plays being overturned by a replay official.

"The whole concept is trying to overturn the major errors," Casserly said.

Twenty-six of the 30 coaches support the return of replay, but the proponents haven't been able to get 23 owners to support it since it was thrown out in 1992.

BALTIMORE: John Macik, agent for center Steve Everitt, said he wants to meet today with team officials. Everitt, 6 feet 5 and 290 pounds, a third-year player and two-year starter, is a restricted free agent.

Baltimore has the right to first refusal, and would be compensated with a No. 1 draft pick if Everitt signed with another team. Macik said he has been contacted by other teams but would like to work out a deal with Baltimore. Everitt made $729,700 last season. If Everitt signs with another team, he would become the second starter from the offensive line to leave. Guard Bob Dahl recently signed with the Washington Redskins.

"We're hoping to get something done while the owners are down here," said Macik. "We've waited for the Browns because we knew they had other business to take care of.

"But now that the league has officially approved the team's move, I'd like to get working on getting Steve a contract as soon as possible," he said.

Baltimore will start negotiations soon with starting defensive tackle Dan Footman, another restricted free agent, who made $570,200 last season. Former Maryland defensive tackle Larry Webster is expected to challenge Footman for the starting job.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to make an offer to Baltimore running back Earnest Byner as early as today. Byner, 33, one of the team's 10 unrestricted free agents, earned $800,000 last year with the Browns.

OILERS: Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Phil Bredesen made a presentation to the owners yesterday supporting the Houston Oilers' move to his city. He predicted that even if the matter goes to a referendum, the voters will pass it.

Bredesen said he's not sure whether the economic benefits of a new stadium support spending $290 million on the project, but he said there are a lot of intangible benefits to bringing in a new team.

TITLE GAMES: Hunt's proposal to play the conference title games at a neutral site and turn them into mini-Super Bowls seems to have little support. Hunt complained the competition committee didn't do an economic analysis of the benefits of the proposal.

Pub Date: 3/13/96

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