LaVar Arrington, dissatisfied with the way he was being coached in Washington, has bought his way out of his Redskins contract for $4.4 million to enter the NFL free agent market. The move was probably best for all concerned, although the D.C. area fans probably don’t think so. The outside linebacker was probably the most popular Redskin since Sonny Jorgenson.
“The one thing that disheartens me the most about my experience here is basically how everybody tries to cast a negative light on everything,” Arrington commented. “Why not focus on the positive of what this whole situation has brought about? The positive is the Redskins and myself had some difficult times together; I’ve pushed through them and Redskins have pushed through them, but we’ve come to a point where it’s time to go our separate ways and there’s nothing horribly wrong with that. They have an opportunity now to get more cap room, and re-sign some guys I really love, and I have the opportunity to get a fresh beginning.”
LaVar didn’t actually give up any real money. He essentially gave up a deferred piece of his $16 million signing bonus, which was payable over time.
During the 2005 season, Arrington felt he wasn’t getting respect. Played sparingly and even benched for a whole game is not the usual thing for a #2 draft pick, as LaVar was in 2000. However, he was known in Washington as a barely coachable free-lancer who really didn’t fit in Coach Joe Gibbs’ system. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any Penn State fans who recall Arrington’s short stint at PSU. Gibbs said that Arrington required more private meetings than any other Redskins player.
In spite of his injuries, Arrington will probably wind up with a nice NFL contract for next season, if indeed there is a next season. As an outside linebacker who is quick and an excellent pass rusher, guys like LaVar are in short supply.
In other moves involving Nittany Lions alumni, the Redskins said “thank you very much for your service” to six-year pro Brandon Noble, as they gave him the heave-ho.