LaVar's Lament

I don't know who's right. I can only guess and I'm not sure I'd even be right about that. So I won't. But I know when it comes to LaVar Arrington's contract situation, it's easy to blame his agents, the Poston brothers. It's also easy to see that this will weigh heavily on Arrington, despite his public pronouncements in the offseason that he'd come to peace with it.

I don't buy that, mainly because Arrington is human. And who wouldn't be bothered by what he thinks is a missing $6.5 million. I don't care how much the rest of the contract is worth. First things first: The Poston brothers messed up by not reading the contract. Period. The agent I think is as credible as any -- Jack Reale, Champ Bailey's agent -- would never do such a thing. The reason the Bailey trade took a week or so to complete is because Reale, a lawyer, went over every detail. Maybe the Poston's should have done the same, then this mess wouldn't have happened.

But that's for the courts. What Redskins fans need to worry about is Arrington's reaction if the arbitration goes against him. Will it impact his play on the field? I say, emphatically: No. In being around Arrington since his first year, what is most noticeable is his desire to win. And to be considered a great player. He understands the history of the game and he wants a favorable place in that book. It matters to him. He also wears that Pittsburgh blue collar mentality on his sleeve, which means work hard and play hard.

I don't doubt he'll continue to do that. Because if he didn't, it would let down his coaches and teammates. And they're not the ones who, in his mind, are pulling a fast one on him. They're on his side. It also matters to him what the fans think because he wants them on his side, too. Not for some PR move, but so that it helps the team win.

Here's the thing about LaVar, and this is why this issue bothers him deeply: he thinks everyone is in this together. That includes media, PR staff, front office and fans. When Arrington stopped talking to the media last year, it was because he felt we weren't being loyal to him and blowing up his comments to somehow divide the team. Our job is to report about, not promote, the Redskins. But in Arrington's mind, he wants everyone on the same page, to use a cliche. Why? Because it helps the team. And why would anyone want to damage that? That's why this will wound him deeply. It's not just that he's losing the money, it's that his boss snookered him. Though this shouldn't impact his play, it will affect how he feels about the organization. Arrington did not want to leave and that's why he's agreed to redo his deals a couple times. He genuinenly loves it here. But something like this, whether he's right or wrong, will sour him on this franchise. It matters to him how people are treated. Not just the players, but others in the organization. Eventually, a sour star becomes counterproductive in such a team sport, I don't care who they are.

I don't know where this is headed. I don't know if Arrington would somehow demand a trade if this goes against him. I just know that it bears watching. Because if the arbitrator rules against Arrington, this thing hasn't ended. It's only just begun.


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