Stubblefield Gets $36-Million Deal From the Redskins
Dana Stubblefield signed a six-year, $36-million contract with the Washington Redskins, pocketing an $8 million signing bonus and immediately putting things in perspective Monday.
“I don’t want these guys coming in thinking I’m going to be the turnaround man,” the former San Francisco 49ers’ defensive tackle said. “I don’t score points. I stop the run.
“I have linebackers who will help me out. I got defensive backs who will help me out. Sometimes I’ll come up and make a big play, but I expect everyone to keep playing as hard as they have been.”
Stopping the run could make a huge difference for Washington, which just missed the playoffs in the last two seasons after finishing 30th in the NFL against the run in 1996 and 28th in 1997.
And Stubblefield’s value is greater than just that of a run-stopper. He had 15 sacks this past season, after which he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press.
Actually, his deal with the Redskins has a voidable, overloaded last year that makes the realistic value of the contract $28.5 million over five years, including the $8 million signing bonus.
It’s much less than the $32.5 million, five-year deal--including a $10 million bonus--signed last week by John Randle with the Minnesota Vikings.
“We didn’t want this to be a long, grueling process,” said Stubblefield, a 27-year-old, 6-foot-2, 290-pound tackle. “The Washington Redskins . . . have a great team. . . . I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get John Randle money. It’s how you’re needed and where you’re wanted. I’m happy with the contract. I’m wanted here.”
Stubblefield said the 49ers did not serious try to re-sign him, even after his five solid seasons with the team in which he was selected for the Pro Bowl three times.
Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway, one month removed from his first Super Bowl victory, had minor surgery on his right shoulder and should be fully recovered within six weeks.
Elway, who has not said whether he will return for his 16th NFL season, will have better range of motion and less pain when he throws, Denver trainer Steve Antonopulos said.
Elway, 37, injured the shoulder when he was thrown to the ground during a game in October, but did not report the injury until after the Super Bowl.
He had said that he would not have the operation if he intended to retire.
Meanwhile, the Broncos reportedly have re-signed free-agent guard Mark Schlereth, according to a report on ESPN.
The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent offensive lineman Everett McIver to a five-year contract worth $9.5 million. The deal includes a $3.5-million signing bonus.
“As far as the line [is concerned], I think I’ll fit in real well sitting down next to Erik Williams,” said McIver, who played the last two of his four NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
McIver had spent the 1993 season on the Cowboys’ practice squad and also played with the New York Jets.
His blocking helped Miami running back Karim Abdul-Jabbar to 15 rushing touchdowns, a team record.
Bryan Cox, the helmet-throwing linebacker known for his temper tantrums, says the Chicago Bears have told him he will be released, a move he claims is in response to his criticism of team management.
“This decision had nothing to do with football,” Cox told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Cox, 30, was fined $10,000 by the team for a helmet-throwing tantrum during a season-opening loss to Green Bay in September. He made the Pro Bowl three times in five seasons with the Miami Dolphins and was ranked ninth among Dolphins in lifetime sacks.
He said he had been told that management--specifically team President Michael McCaskey--grew weary of his criticism.
The Bears re-signed tight end Ryan Wetnight for three years and $1.9 million.
Philadelphia re-signed unrestricted free agent running back Charlie Garner to a four-year contract, probably ending the Eagle career of Ricky Watters.
Garner, who has backed up Watters the last three seasons, carried the ball 116 times in 1997 for 547 yards and three touchdowns. He had 24 receptions for 225 yards.
Terms were not disclosed, but ESPN is reporting the deal is worth $6.4 million, including an $800,000 signing bonus.
Ray Sherman promised adjustments to Kordell Stewart’s passing routes--but no major shake-ups--after being hired as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
“We were No. 1 in the rushing attack last year,” Sherman said. “That’s something we want to continue, but we also want to add some flavor in the passing game.”
Sherman, the Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach, replaces Chan Gailey, hired as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys on Feb. 12.
Sherman won out over two other candidates, one of which was UCLA offensive coordinator Al Borges.
Linebacker Jeff Herrod, who was released by the Indianapolis Colts before last season, re-signed with the team. Herrod, who played for the Colts from 1988-96, is the team’s all-time leading tackler with 1,288.
Detroit’s Barry Sanders, who became only the third player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in one season, was chosen winner of the Jim Thorpe Trophy.
Sanders’ yardage in nine years with the Lions is 13,778, including 2,053 last season. The trophy has been presented since 1955 to the NFL’s most valuable player.