LaVar Arrington’s $6.5million grievance against the Washington Redskins could dissipate this offseason following a year in which Arrington played in just four games and his charge never seemed to gain much traction.
Arrington conceded as much in an interview with Comcast SportsNet on Wednesday, saying, “I might just turn my back on it and just look towards the future.”
The Pro Bowl linebacker cited as factors his inability to play much this season (“You figure it’s a roster bonus [and] I wasn’t really a part of the roster this year”) and his love of the city (“The city means too much to me, being a Redskin means too much to me”).
However, more likely is that Arrington never had much chance to win the case. His agents, Carl and Kevin Poston, conceded not reading the final draft of the contract. Arrington’s camp was left with a very high standard of proof — fraud on the part of the Redskins — to get the $6.5million reinstated.
In cases where there is a signed contract, one party must prove the other intended to deceive. Without physical evidence, which Arrington didn’t appear to have, it is very difficult to meet that standard of proof.
When the dispute first surfaced in March, there was some thought the Redskins might settle it. But the club didn’t budge in its stance that the bonus never existed.
At issue is a $6.5million roster bonus that supposedly was in the nine-year, $68million extension Arrington signed at the end of the 2003 season. The contract contains a $6.5million roster bonus in 2006, but Arrington claims there was another identical bonus due that year.
He said the Redskins agreed to the second bonus but didn’t put it in the final draft of the contract and that he signed it without checking because of deadline pressure.
NFL Players Association general counsel Richard Berthelsen said an arbitration date hasn’t been set. A hearing was supposed to occur Nov.1 but was pushed back when an “unavoidable conflict” arose for an NFL attorney.
An NFLPA source said there was no indication from Arrington’s camp that the charge would be dropped. Neither Arrington nor Carl Poston returned phone calls seeking comment.