LaVar Arrington will report to training camp as scheduled this afternoon, but the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker’s 19-month-old contract dispute with the Washington Redskins has not been settled.
The framework of a settlement, which would have given Arrington an unspecified amount of the $6.5million in dispute, was reached during a meeting Wednesday at Redskin Park that included Arrington, agent Carl Poston, NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw, Redskins owner Dan Snyder and club president/coach Joe Gibbs.
Attorneys on both sides still had to hammer out the final details when The Washington Post erroneously reported a settlement that had Arrington not receiving any money. That report caused consternation in Arrington’s camp and set the negotiations back considerably — a fact that could cause the sides to wind up in front of an arbitrator in September.
The dispute stems from the eight-year, $68million contract extension Arrington signed in December 2003 in order to give the Redskins some wiggle room just in time for that season’s salary cap. Arrington and Poston, who also signed the contract, maintain that the deal included a $6.5million signing bonus. Snyder and his aides say that no such payment was promised. Gibbs was not then with the organization.
Upshaw is involved in the talks at Arrington’s request, as is NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelesen. Attorney Steve Brown, whom Arrington hired just before asking for a postponement of a scheduled July18 arbitration of the dispute, also attended the meeting. So did Redskins director of football administration Eric Schaffer, who had negotiated the contract with Poston in 2003.
After signing the extension, Arrington missed all but four games last year with a knee injury that required arthroscopic surgery in September and again in April. Arrington’s knee still is apparently not sufficiently healed for him to fully participate when practice begins tomorrow.