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Raiders : Clay Is Apparently Close to Signing; Beuerlein Isn't

July 24, 1987|MARK HEISLER | Times Staff Writer

OXNARD — The three unsigned Raiders stayed that. However, a source says that one of them, No. 1 pick John Clay, actually agreed to terms--reportedly a $1.4 million, four-year contract--last week.

"Maybe Norby (Walters, Clay's agent) is looking for publicity," a source said Thursday. "But Lloyd Bloom (Walters' partner) and Mike Reinfeldt (the Raider official negotiating Clay's contract) were together in El Segundo today and they looked like the tension had eased, to say the least."

A rival agent recently noted that Walters signed Ronnie Harmon to a $1.4-million contract last year with Buffalo before losing his client, and wants to make Clay's deal look better. Walters, who is under investigation by a Chicago grand jury, and who is not popular with his colleagues, has been unavailable for comment all week.

Neal Allen, representing No. 2 pick Bruce Wilkerson, said Thursday morning that a deal might be near. Thursday afternoon, however, he said that no agreement had been reached and no further meetings were scheduled.

Steve Beuerlein, the No. 4 pick, is still out. He isn't thought to be as close to a deal as Clay and Wilkerson.

"We're still working on them," Raider Coach Tom Flores said. "At this point, it's a day-to-day thing. I'm hopeful it can be done. We need them here. We need them practicing. We need them for Sunday's scrimmage against the Cowboys. That's of tremendous value to young players."

Flores, asked if defensive end Elvis Franks, arrested for cocaine possession, was expected back in camp: "We're going to think about that. I don't know exactly what his situation is. Until we know what that is and how he's going to be treated, I had better not comment on it.".

The Raiders have signed ex-Dolphin-Raider Jimmy Warren to help Willie Brown coach their defensive backs.

Other new Raider coaches are Charlie Sumner, back from the USFL to take his old job as linebacker coach/untitled defensive coordinator; Sam Gruniesen, linebackers; and Joe Scanella, returning to coach the running backs.

Last season's running backs coach, Ray Willsey, is taking over for the departed Steve Ortmayer as special teams coach.

Taking charge: Rusty Hilger, who is scheduled to start the Cowboy scrimmage, completed a pass to rookie tight end Scott Eccles Friday, then snarled at his receiver: "C'mon Eccles, run!"

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