The NFL : Redskins Trade Zendejas; Falcons Cut Cain

August 28, 1985|From Times Wire Services

The Washington Redskins' placekicking battle is over, but there was no real loser. Both Mark Moseley and Tony Zendejas will be paid to kick this season, but Zendejas will get his check from the Houston Oilers.

The Redskins traded Zendejas to Houston for an undisclosed 1986 draft choice.

The former USFL kicker was given a reported $150,000 guaranteed bonus to compete with the veteran Moseley.

Zendejas, the former kicker for the USFL's Los Angeles Express, was signed to a three-year, $600,000 deal by the Redskins. The duel with Moseley fizzled, however, when both men had poor training camps.

Zendejas said: "Well, the situation here hasn't been that great since I've been here. Since I got here I've had this feeling of being unwanted--I felt like a stepchild. In a way it is a relief. Kicking in Houston won't be bad. After all, I'll be kicking indoors, which is ideal for me."

The Redskins cut three-time Pro Bowl kick returner Mike Nelms, who led the NFC in return yardage last season, and announced the retirement of veteran offensive lineman George Starke.

The moves came as the NFL teams faced a mandatory roster cut to 50 players.

Nelms, 30, was an All-Pro during his first three NFL seasons after joining Washington in 1980. His 1,288 yards in combined punt and kickoff returns in 1984 led the National Football Conference.

Starke, a 12-year tackle who was the leader of the Redskins' offensive line, was troubled by knee problems last season and underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in January.

Club officials gave Starke the option of being waived or retiring.

In other NFL moves:

--The Atlanta Falcons released former USC running back Lynn Cain, the team's fourth all-time leading rusher.

Cain, who gained 2,313 yards in his career, started much of his first four seasons, but served as a reserve running back during the last two years.

--New York Giant punter Dave Jennings was released after losing his job to newcomer Sean Landeta.

Jennings had an off season last year, averaging 40.8 yards per kick, and the team signed Landeta to a big contract right after he finished his season with the Baltimore Stars of the United States Football League season.

--Veteran linebacker Anthony Dickerson of the Dallas Cowboys was traded to the Buffalo Bills.

Dickerson, a six-year veteran, said: "Sure, I'm a little upset about it. I'm the best linebacker they've got here and I hate to go, but I can tell you one thing: I am shifting my loyalty to the Bills right now."

Team sources said the Cowboys will receive draft choices.

Dickerson, who played at SMU, was obtained by Dallas as a free agent in 1980. He was a starter for the Cowboys the last two seasons.

--Linebacker Vernon Maxwell, who came to the San Diego Chargers a month ago, was released along with veteran safety John Turner.

Maxwell, 23, was obtained by San Diego in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts.

Turner, a seven-year pro, played in 15 games and intercepted two passes for San Diego last year after he was obtained in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings.

--The Chargers signed Liffort Hobley, a safety from Louisiana State. Hobley was a third-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers this year and was waived by the team Monday.

--Reggie McKenzie, a member of the Buffalo Bills' Electric Company offensive line, was released by Seattle. Also cut by the Seahawks was former Ram defensive end Mike Fanning.

--Free safety Rick Sanford, a first-round draft choice in 1979 who lost his starting job early last season, was cut by the New England Patriots.

--The Tampa Bay Buccaneers replaced Nigerian kicker Obed Ariri, with another Nigerian--Donald Igwebuike.

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