After 20 Years, Brown Calls End to His Career

Mark Brunell takes a tumble, thanks to Chuck Darby, who sacked the Redskins' quarterback for an eight-yard loss late in the fourth quarter.
Mark Brunell takes a tumble, thanks to Chuck Darby, who sacked the Redskins' quarterback for an eight-yard loss late in the fourth quarter. (By Toni L. Sandys -- The Washington Post)
By Howard Bryant and Eli Saslow
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, January 15, 2006

SEATTLE, Jan. 14 -- Even though he spent the last moments of his career grappling with a playoff loss, this is exactly how Ray Brown wanted it to end, he said. The Washington Redskins offensive lineman walked off the field satisfied and uninjured, convinced that -- despite a 20-10 loss -- he was leaving on top.

Brown, who sat out portions of Saturday's game because of cramps, announced his retirement with tears in his eyes after the game. He plans to stay a part of the Redskins organization, he said.

"I'll still go away from the game with a little confidence and arrogance that I can still play with these guys, but I know I'm done," Brown said. "I'm glad I can stand upright and tell you that I'm done. I'm satisfied with my career. I really am."

Brown, 43, played in the NFL for 20 years, signing with the Redskins as a free agent before the 2004 season. He played for Washington for five years earlier in his career.

The charismatic guard ended his career the same way he had spent most of it: as a starter. Before this season, he had started at least 14 games in every season since 1993. That he suffered cramps Saturday, Brown said, counted as another sign that all that playing time had worn him down.

"It's been a great, long career," Brown said. "I've taken so much. Now it's my time to try to give some time, to my family and everything else."

Arrington Farewell?

It was not lost on linebacker LaVar Arrington that he may have played his final game with the Redskins.

Arrington was credited with two tackles, and though he was not on the official stat sheet, he was in on the tackle that knocked Seattle running back Shaun Alexander out of the game with a concussion. Arrington did not want to discuss his future except to say it was his hope that the club would bring him back.

"I'm not going to answer any questions about the future. It's not time for that," Arrington said. "I think this team is heading in the right direction. I think it has big things in front of it and I hope I'm going to be a part of it."

Arrington endured perhaps the most difficult year of his career. He was healthy to start the season but was largely benched for the first quarter of the season. When he did play, he did not play on third down, though he is best known as a pass-rushing linebacker.

The financial case against Arrington most likely is a daunting one. Arrington will count about $12 million against the salary cap and is due a $6.5 million roster bonus if he is on the roster July 1.

Alexander Is Okay

Alexander, still woozy from a first-half concussion, dressed quickly and left the stadium without talking to reporters.

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