How ironic would it be that the player that ended Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman's career would be wearing the silver and blue for head coach Bill Parcells next season?
It could happen. And several published reports have already indicated the Cowboys are indeed interested in talking with Arrington about the possibility.
Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post and ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, suggested as much in his column Tuesday:
|A jersey with No. 56 on it may not mean all that much to the Redskins. But my bet is a certain coach named Parcells got a big 'ol Texas smile on his mischievous face when he heard the news that Arrington was a free agent. Oh, No. 56 means something to Coach Parcells, I promise you.|
Talk about a slap in the face to your archrival.
Think of what that would mean to the Redskins organization, and the Redskins' fan base for that matter, if you took their former No. 2 overall pick in the 2000 draft who never lived up to expectations despite reaching the Pro Bowl three times in six years, and lined him up against that very same team twice a year.
Think it couldn't happen? It could. Arrington himself told reporters after leaving Washington, "I want to come back and walk in FedEx Field once a year." (meaning he wants to play somewhere in the NFC East)
Based on those comments, three teams are already being eyed by Arrington himself- Dallas, Philadelphia and New York.
The Giants are rumored to be "interested," however their current salary cap situation has the organization hand-cuffed. The bottom line is New York will not be able to get a deal done with LaVar Arrington unless a new CBA is reached and the cap is raised by $10 million.
The "other" team in the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles, will not have that problem and could easily make a run at Arrington should they feel inclined to do it.
The question is: will they?
Of course, should Arrington come to Dallas, he would arrive with plenty of controversy.
His salary and bonus with the Redskins this year would have counted $12 million against the salary cap. And while he will not be able to get that kind of money elsewhere, there's a good chance he would end up costing Dallas nothing short of a pretty penny.
Considering the Cowboys have bigger needs on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield this off-season- would it be worth it?
In addition, considering his multiple injuries and off-the-field feuds he had with the Redskins organization in recent years, one would have to question his attitude. Would he fit in on a Bill Parcells-coached team? Would he turn into the sour apple that many people perceived him to be in Washington? Can he help the Cowboys win a Super Bowl?
And ... most importantly, is he healthy?
Knee injuries have prevented Arrington from becoming the type of impact player many thought he would be coming out of Penn State. Last year, he recorded just 47 total tackles and no sacks in 13 games. In 2004, he played in just four games, recording 15 total tackles and one sack.
Breaking it all down- is it possible? Could LaVar Arrington end up with the Cowboys?
Sure, but we at TheRanchReport.com are skeptical for several reasons.
For starters, Arrington was quoted on a sports radio show Monday as saying he wanted to stay in the NFC East but preferred not to play for the Cowboys. Strike one.
We buy that, but we also buy the fact that money talks. If the Cowboys are set on signing Arrington, chances are they'll make him the right kind of offer. However nothing we have here suggests they are ready to pull that trigger just yet. Strike two.
Also, take a closer look at the way in which he became a free agent. He actually gave back over $4 million to leave the Redskins to become a free agent.
That's how bad he wanted out. Have you ever heard of a player paying BACK money to leave an organization? What? Strike three.
Why would Dallas be willing to take a chance on a player that has been involved with so much controversy in such a short period of time?
One could make the argument that is has to do with talent. That it has to do with potential. And that it also has to do with the fact he still has more than a few years left in the tank.
Yet one could also make the argument that money could be better spent elsewhere.
LaVar Arrington NFL Bio
2004: After starting the first two games of the season, Arrington underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in Week 3. The injury sidelined him for 11 games. He finished the year with 18 tackles (10 solo) and one sack.
2003: Arrington continued to ascent to the ranks of one of the elite linebackers in the game with a Pro Bowl year. He started 16 games and recorded 116 tackles (71 solo), six sacks, a career-high seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was elected a team captain by his teammates.
2002: Arrington started all 16 games of the season for the first time in his career, tying for the team-lead in tackles with Armstead with 107 (73 solo), also leading the team with 11 sacks. He earned his second straight Pro Bowl start with teammates Champ Bailey and Chris Samuels. He also finished the season with four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
2001: Arrington, emerging as a physical and emotional team leader, started in all 14 games he played, missing only two. He led the team in tackles (100), seven for loss and nine passes defended. He had two fumble recoveries and returned three interceptions for 120 yards and one touchdown.
2000: After not starting the first three games, Arrington made his first NFL start Week 4 at NY Giants (9/24). He started 11 of the remaining 13 at strongside LB, and finished fifth on the team in total tackles (73) and solos (53), and third in sacks (4.0 for -7 yards). He also defensed five passes. He made his first career sack and posted ten tackles in Week 5 vs. TB (10/1).
Arrington established himself as one of the most dominating defensive players in college football history. In his last season at Penn State in 1999, he earned the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player, and the Dick Butkus Award as college football's premier LB. He was also a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy as college football's top lineman and the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's best player. An All-Big Ten first-team selection, he played strongside LB and posted career-highs in tackles (72), tackles-for-loss (20 for -98 yards), sacks (9.0), blocked kicks (two) and fumble recoveries (two). He was key to the Nittany Lions 10-3 season and their 24-0 rout of Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl, when he ended his college career making 14 tackles, including an 8-yard sack, and forcing three INTs. Arrington finished sixth in school history in tackles-for-loss and seventh in sacks. In 1998, he was a first-team All-American selection by The Sporting News, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus Award and the Football News National Defensive Player of the Year Award.
At North Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Arrington was one of the greatest prep football players ever to emerge from the western Pennsylvania gridiron. He was the 1996 Parade National Player of the Year as a senior LB and RB. He was also selected Bobby Dodd National Offensive Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Pennsylvania Player of the Year. He was the second player in Pennsylvania Class 4-A history to rush for more than 4,000 career yards, with 4,357 on 711 carries (6.1 avg.) and 72 TDs. Arrington attended the Penn State College of Education. His older brother, Michael, played basketball at Slippery Rock.