- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 28, 2004

LaVar Arrington extended an olive branch of sorts to Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder yesterday, saying he would like to mend his strained relationship with the man Arrington claims shortchanged him $6.5million.

“I’ve really thought about it, and I’m ready to reconcile whatever differences there are,” Arrington said following the second day of minicamp practices at Redskin Park. “Hopefully, we can get things back on the straight-and-narrow and go ahead and play, because it seems like everything’s going to work itself out on the field.”

Arrington has filed a non-injury grievance through the NFL, claiming the nine-year contract extension he signed in December should have included a $6.5million roster bonus in 2006. The Redskins dispute the grievance, and the two sides are waiting to find out when an arbitrator will hear the case.

Arrington had been highly critical of the organization, Snyder included, in recent weeks, calling the situation “a travesty” and damaging his once-friendly relationship with the owner. He appears to be changing his tune somewhat, though, and is now hoping to mend fences.

“We’re grown-ups,” Arrington said. “I’ve had my time to be upset, and it’s not going to get me anywhere. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be weak about it or anything. But I’m willing to see what type of resolve we can get out of this whole thing.”

Snyder, who is out of the country on vacation, could not be reached to comment, but club sources said the owner isn’t backing off his stance and has no intention of coming to any financial settlement with Arrington.

Regardless of the grievance’s outcome, Arrington could still manage to restore his relationship with Snyder. He certainly sounded committed to that yesterday, as he spoke glowingly about the revitalized atmosphere new coach Joe Gibbs has brought to Washington.

“The more I think about it, I really don’t want to be anywhere else,” Arrington said. “I really love the fans. For $6.5million, it’s not worth my relationship with my fans. I don’t want that to be the legacy I leave behind me.”

When a reporter noted that someone needed to make the first move toward reconciliation, Arrington replied, “I think I just made the first move.”

Jacobs impressing Gibbs?

Only two days into minicamp, a handful of players have already made an impression on the new coaching staff.

“To be truthful, we’ve probably changed our minds about some guys already,” Gibbs said.

Gibbs didn’t reveal any specific names, but he well might have been referring to second-year wide receiver Taylor Jacobs. Jacobs, who rarely played during an injury-filled rookie season, has looked solid the last two days.

“You see a guy and you say, ‘Good gosh, who’s that?’” Gibbs said. “A flash catches the ball, and you say, ‘Where’d he come from?’ Then you find out in some cases he was hurt and didn’t play a lot last year, came onto the team as a rookie.”

Johnson a no-show

Fullback Bryan Johnson, who found out Friday that the Redskins had matched his $4.3million offer sheet from New Orleans, will miss the entire camp and won’t be back at Redskin Park until tomorrow. Washington didn’t reveal its intention to keep Johnson, a restricted free agent, until 10 minutes before Friday’s 4p.m. deadline, and the fourth-year veteran assumed he was about to become a Saint.

“I think we’re still going through a process there, and I think it’ll take a little while,” Gibbs said. “He wasn’t here because I think he was thinking he was going to be somewhere else.”

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