- The Washington Times - Friday, August 26, 2005

LaVar Arrington was voted to the Pro Bowl in his last three healthy seasons. If the Washington Redskins’ 27-year-old linebacker is similarly honored in two of the next four years, he’ll be $3.25 million richer or become a free agent.

Those are the main terms of the settlement of Arrington’s $6.5 million contract grievance against the Redskins that finally was concluded last night on the eve of his return to action for the first time in more than eight months.

“I am grateful to Coach [Joe] Gibbs and to my attorney, Steve Brown, and I am especially grateful to [agent] Carl Poston, who has been with me and will always be, and to my family, my teammates, and my fans for the support and the roles they played throughout this whole process. I look forward to the focus on me being turned back to football,” Arrington said in a statement.

The deal ended a battle that began when Arrington signed an eight-year, $68 million contract extension in December 2003 that was designed to give him long-term security and the Redskins short-term salary cap relief. Poston soon accused the Redskins of shortchanging his client $6.5 million in bonus money. The club denied any such payment was in the contract.

After hopes of resolving the matter before last season evaporated, tension continued to build between Poston and the Redskins. Arrington, who missed most of 2004 following knee surgery, felt unappreciated by the organization and publicly lashed out in April after undergoing a second operation.

“When I was hired two months ago, I tried to come up with a win-win situation, but I give all the credit to LaVar and Coach Gibbs for this finally getting done,” Brown said.

The outlines of the settlement were laid out in a July 27 meeting at Redskin Park that included Arrington, Gibbs, Brown, Poston, Redskins owner Dan Snyder and director of football administration Eric Schaffer, along with NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw and chief counsel Richard Berthelsen. If the Redskins decline to make the $3.25 million payment after Arrington makes two more Pro Bowls by 2008, his contract voids and he becomes a free agent.

“We’re pleased that the matter is settled and that we could avoid the arbitration hearing that was scheduled for September 20,” Berthelsen said.

The Redskins declined comment on the settlement.

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