By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
The NFL Players Association postponed linebacker LaVar Arrington's grievance against the Washington Redskins yesterday at the player's request, according to NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen, less than a week before the case was to go before an arbitrator. Arrington has alleged that the Redskins excluded a $6.5 million bonus from the eight-year, $68 million contract he signed last summer.
Redskins officials have denied any wrongdoing throughout the process, and the hearing was to take place at 9:30 Monday morning at the downtown offices of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, according to a league source. No new date has been set. Arrington had recently hired a new lawyer to investigate the incident and spoke with Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFLPA, before the union notified the NFL management council of the postponement. Arrington hopes to meet with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to rectify the situation rather than pursue the arbitration process, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking.
"It's Gene's hope that we can sit down with the Redskins and get it resolved," Berthelsen said.
"I heard about the request for postponement and was disappointed," Redskins director of football administration Eric Schaffer said in a prepared statement. "While we agreed to the postponement I think it is very important to finalize through arbitration that the Redskins did nothing wrong to our highest-paid player. I also feel strongly that the business ethics of the agent should be questioned and looked into."
Arrington did not immediately return a message left with his assistant, and his agent, Carl Poston, did not respond to a phone message.