In three days Steinberg's hotel phone bill reaches $600. Seattle and Houston are very aggressive. Tampa Bay and New Orleans balk at Moon's price tag. The Giants refuse to talk money. Steinberg goes home to Berkeley, Moon to Seattle.
Feb. 1, Berkeley: Herzeg arrives at Steinberg's office, which is in his house, at about 7:30 p.m. Steinberg has had Houston's complicated package reviewed by five financial analysts. McCormack stays in touch by phone. The Oiler and Seahawk offers are both for five years and almost identical in dollars. But Seattle's is structured so that only about 20% of the money is guaranteed, in the form of a signing bonus. Moon fears that if he's a bust, the Seahawks might cut him just to get rid of his big salary. In the Oilers' offer, the guaranteed signing bonus accounts for 80% of the money with Moon's annual salary in the low six-figures. Negotiations go on until 11 p.m., with one major interruption. "Ladd had to watch Dynasty" Steinberg says.
Feb. 2, Berkeley: Negotiations resume early in the morning. The Seahawks won't budge. Houston ups its offer. Moon is now leaning toward Houston, but won't make a decision. Herzeg, growing impatient, watches Dynasty, which he had taped, a second time.
Feb. 3, Berkeley: Herzeg fails to show in the morning for negotiations. Steinberg, who does his best thinking on his exercise bike, hits it for 50 miles. Herzeg resurfaces shortly after noon in Houston. Wearied by flu, he had flown home. Negotiations resume by phone.
In Seattle, Moon spends the afternoon talking to McCormack, Knox and Seahawk owner John Nordstrom on the phone but the Seahawks won't increase the amount of the guaranteed money.
At 6:30 p.m., Moon calls Steinberg. "He's very torn," Steinberg says. He asks Moon to list his priorities in life. "Family first," Moon says, "then friends. And Leigh," he adds, "they're all right here in Seattle." But the question of guaranteed money weighs heavily on Moon.
At seven, Moon finally makes his decision. "Leigh," he says, "I'm going South." It's Houston.