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Dolphins Sign Webb for One Year

September 4, 1999

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) _ Tackle Richmond Webb conceded defeat in his contract dispute with the Miami Dolphins and accepted an offer the team made in February.

The seven-time Pro Bowl tackle reported for practice Saturday after accepting a one-year, $3.45 million tender.

Webb had wanted a long-term contract up to $6 million per year, but he had limited leverage because the Dolphins designated him their franchise player last winter.

Coach Jimmy Johnson declined to characterize Webb’s decision to report as a victory for management.

``He’s a very good player, and he’s going to make a lot of money,″ Johnson said. ``We’ll continue to talk about a long-term contract.″

With Sunday’s regular-season roster deadline approaching, the Dolphins traded defensive tackle Barron Tanner to the Washington Redskins for an undisclosed draft choice. Miami waived five players _ linebacker Jimmy Clements, guard Derrick LeVake, tackle Thomas Rayam, fullback Jamie Reader and tackle Barry Stokes.

The moves reduced the roster to 64 players, 11 above the regular-season limit.

In Webb’s absence, Brent Smith started at left tackle during the preseason and won raves from Johnson. The coach declined to predict whether Webb would start the season-opener Sept. 13 at Denver.

``I have no idea on his conditioning,″ Johnson said. ``We’ll just have to wait and see. If Richmond is able to show he’s ready to step back in, then we’ll go that direction. But I’m very comfortable either way. If Richmond’s not ready, Brent can handle it.″

Webb said he wasn’t bitter about settling for the one-year deal.

``This is a business, and you have to understand that going into it,″ he said. ``There are no hard feelings. I’m glad to be here, and I’ll try to get ready as soon as I can.″

There was a bright side for Webb _ at least he missed training camp.

``I was about to go crazy because I missed all that hitting and those two-a-days,″ he said, jokingly. ``I told them to ship my pads to me.″