NFL Notebook

Arrington Takes a Swipe at NFLPA

From News Services and Staff Reports
Thursday, December 7, 2006

New York Giants linebacker LaVar Arrington equated the players union with organized crime yesterday, 24 hours before he was scheduled to testify before Congress at a hearing involving his former agent.

Lawmakers will be looking into the NFL Players Association's suspension of Arrington's former agent, Carl Poston, stemming from his handling of a contract the linebacker signed with the Washington Redskins near the end of the 2003 season. Arrington contends the union acted unfairly in taking away Poston's livelihood.

"They suspended him without a hearing, the NFLPA," Arrington said, sitting in front of his locker. "If you are educated and you pay attention to what is going on around you, they do a lot of foul stuff. It's like organized crime, to be honest with you. They are bad."

Union head Gene Upshaw told the Associated Press in a telephone interview yesterday that Poston made a major mistake in the contract by omitting an alleged second $6.5 million roster bonus that was due in 2006.

"This isn't just about LaVar," Upshaw said. "This is about the other players this guy represents. We have a duty to the other players."

Upshaw added that the union and not Poston is officially Arrington's agent and that it tried to recover the money for Arrington when the mistake became known in January 2004.

"When we got into this, we did it to protect LaVar," Upshaw said. "I couldn't care less about Poston. I felt we'll take care of him [Poston] later, and we did."

Arrington plans to tell his side of the story to the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, which has scheduled an oversight hearing today to examine the NFLPA's arbitration process.

Arrington contends that his eight-year, $68 million deal was hastily closed late in the 2003 season because the Redskins wanted to beat a deadline for salary cap purposes.

Arrington said the Redskins faxed a final version of the contract without including the provision for a second $6.5 million roster bonus in 2006.

Neither Arrington nor Poston noticed the error, and Arrington signed the contract.

Upshaw said Poston had 14 days to review the contract after it was signed and he didn't discover the error. "I ended up telling LaVar about it at the Super Bowl," Upshaw said.

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