Raiders Camp : Hester Sent Packing Until Contract Is Settled

Times Staff Writer

The Raiders drafted Jesse Hester for his abiltty to go deep, but Wednesday they sent him on a reverse.

Hester showed up along with other rookies for the opening of training camp at the Hilton Inn, but the Raiders turned their No. 1 draft choice around and sent him back to Florida because he hasn't agreed to contract terms.

"He just thought we were close to getting it done," Coach Tom Flores said of the speedy wide receiver from Florida State. "He came up assuming he could stay around until the contract was worked out.

"According to league rules, he can't be here unless he's signed. He can't be in camp, in the hotel or even in town (Los Angeles). I double-checked with the league office because I thought he could stay in the area on his own. They said he can't, so I talked with him for a while, and then we made arrangements for him to go back to L.A. and got him a flight.

"But he's optimistic that he'll be back soon."

Hester is one of 24 NFL first-round draft choices still unsigned.

Two other Raider draftees--linebacker Jamie Kimmel, a fourth-round draft choice from Syracuse, and quarterback Rusty Hilger, a sixth-round pick from Oklahoma State--have not come to contract terms, either, and aren't in camp.

Flores is especially eager to have Hilger present.

"Quarterbacks can be tough to evaluate, and we'd like to have these days to see how he functions," Flores said. "We'd like to have a young quarterback, and I'd like to see him in our scrimmage Sunday against the Cowboy rookies. It's tough to work even three quarterbacks into a four-game preseason, and this would give us a chance to look at him.

"We had him in for our rookie camps, and he handled himself very well. He's knowledgeable and has a good feel for football. We were impressed with him on the field and in the huddle. He's a vocal kind of guy.

"This is valuable time he'll be missing."

Raider Notes

The Dallas Cowboy rookies will bus from their training camp to Oxnard for Sunday's 2 p.m. scrimmage, which will be closed to the public, as all Raider practices are. However, when the Raiders go to Thousand Oaks Tuesday, the scrimmage will be open to the public, as all Cowboy practices are. . . . Everyone in the Raider organization seems pleased with the facilities at their new training camp.

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