WEARIN' O' THE GREEN
If the Redskins don't come up with an offer for White in the $4 million-a-year range—and it's starting to look as if they won't—he'll probably go to the Packers. In White's view there are three factors in Green Bay's favor: 1) coach Mike Holmgren and his staff, 2) young quarterback Brett Favre and 3) the expectation that the Packers will fly White to Milwaukee each Tuesday during the season so he can establish a ministry there that will tend to the poor of the inner city.
Last Thursday, Holmgren and his defensive coordinator, Ray Rhodes, flew to White's hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., so that White could get to know them. The two coaches heard White give a speech at a Kiwanis-club meeting, toured the city with their star recruit and then sat and talked with him for a couple of hours. White was quite taken with them. He was also assured that money would not be an obstacle. The Packers, a publicly owned team, have about $30 million in the bank, so coming up with $4 million or so a year for White will not be all that difficult.
Holmgren gets defensive when asked why Green Bay is suddenly a front-runner in the race for White. "Why not? That's the better question." he says. "We don't have to be anybody's poor stepchild. If we tell our players we're going to do everything possible to get to the Super Bowl—and we've told them that—then we'd be hypocritical not to pursue Reggie."
Early predictions: Mark Ingram, the underused former Giant wideout who last week signed with Miami, will become Dan Marino's go-to guy and a 70-catch Pro Bowler; new Buccaneer linebacker Hardy Nickerson. an active pursuer made for Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Floyd Peters's aggressive style, will lead the Bucs in tackles; pricey free-agent left tackle Don Maggs won't be the answer to Denver's question of how to keep the AFC West's prime pass rushers off John Elway, because money can't buy quickness. But the Broncos will be pleasantly surprised by the versatility of new workhorse running back Rod Bernstine, for whom 1,000 yards rushing and 60 receptions in '93 are realistic goals....
According to one minister in Harlem, the Jets have an important ally in their pursuit of White: "Reggie, it's not an accident that you're here." the minister boomed from the pulpit during White's visit to New York City. "This is divine intervention!"...
Carlton Bailey, a backup linebacker for the Bills in '92, didn't play a down in the Super Bowl but recently signed with the Giants for an average of $300,000 more a season than Lawrence Taylor made last year. When 49er president Carmen Policy heard the Bailey numbers, he said, "Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom and throw up."...
Speaking of the Niners, they'll have trouble squeezing their generous payroll beneath the NFL-mandated cap in 1994. Policy estimates that San Francisco will be $10 million over the cap this year.
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