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Pro Football Notes : Chip Banks, Where Are You?

From Times Wire Services

If the Buffalo Bills don’t find linebacker Chip Banks before the start of today’s National Football League draft, the Cleveland Browns could get Banks back but lose their first-round pick to the Bills.

Banks was traded to the Bills last Friday to get the anticipated supplemental draft rights to University of Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar. Kosar, who is passing up the regular draft, intends to graduate from college in June, a year ahead of schedule, so the Browns can take him in a supplemental draft this summer.

The Bills had not been able to locate Banks by late Monday. A provision of the trade gives Buffalo the option of taking the Browns’ first-round pick, seventh overall in the draft, instead of Banks.

“Certainly a lot of football players--quality football players--undergo a trauma when they’ve been traded for the first time,” said Terry Bledsoe, the Bills’ general manager. “In my mind, the trauma has hit (Banks). We didn’t anticipate this problem.”

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Bledsoe said Banks’ agent, Harold Daniels, had not been able to contact Banks. Bledsoe said he might be forced to wait until just before the 8 a.m. draft begins before making a decision.

Contrary to statements by Tampa Bay Bandit owner John Bassett, running back Wendell Tyler of the Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers has not signed a $3-million, three-year contract with a United States Football League team, Tyler’s agent said Monday.

Bassett said Sunday that he signed Tyler to a contract that begins when Tyler’s contract with the 49ers expires after next season. That deal may still be struck, but it hasn’t happened yet, said Tyler’s agent, Harold Daniels.

“I have the contract right in front of me, and we haven’t signed it,” Daniels said from his office in Los Angeles. “We’ll be meeting with the 49ers later this week and see what they have to offer.”

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49er General Manager John McVay will meet with Daniels, but said: “We don’t take the Tyler thing seriously. They’re talking about crazy money, a million a year. We won’t remotely approach that. . . . We’re talking about a guy who will be a 31-year-old running back next year. You might pay a great, young quarterback a million dollars, but realistically you can’t pay that kind of money to an older running back.”

Tyler makes $405,000 a year.

The Rams and Philadelphia Eagles will have to find another place to play their exhibition game this summer. The National Football League is persona non grata in Canada.

The game, scheduled for Aug. 24 in Toronto, was to have been the first NFL game ever played in Canada, but the Canadian Football League resented the invasion in the middle of its season.

According to Al Maki of the Calgary Herald, when NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle called CFL counterpart Doug Mitchell about the matter Monday, Mitchell told Rozelle: “This is an invasion of our football territory. In the best interests of the CFL, we won’t allow it to happen.”

Because of baseball, neither the Rams or Eagles will have their home stadiums available that weekend, so Concert Productions International, which has rented the Canadian National Exhibition for two weeks at that time, proposed they play the game in Toronto.

The sale of the Eagles by Leonard Tose to Florida businessman Norman Braman became official Monday, and Harry Gamble was named to oversee the day-to-day operations of the club.


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