Q&A With LaVar Arrington

There's no doubt the decision to forfeit future bonus money to become a free agent was difficult for the ex-Redskins linebacker. In the end, it didn't seem to him that he was truly in the Redskins' plans.

Q: What are your emotions like right now?
A: It is weird. It's disappointing to me, but it was time. With everything that has happened, the battle lines are being drawn and either way it's time for people to get back to cheering for the Redskins and get back to cheering for LaVar and not taking sides on the team or the player. That's where we're at. This gives both of us a chance to have a fresh start. They have the chance to keep building toward what they're trying to build in Washington and I have an opportunity to try and go rebuild my career.

Q: When did you come to this realization?
A: With everything that has gone on the last couple years, it's something you've got to take a look at.

Q: How much did you have to sleep on a decision like this?
A: You definitely had to sleep on it. This is where my family is. And I'm not just talking my mother, father and brother. I'm talking the fans. We've gotten so fond of one another over the years. I'm probably more fond of those guys and how they supported me through thick and thin. I look at them more highly than they look at me. That's tough to have to leave that. We've created such a comfort zone with one another. To have to go somewhere else, it seems really strange to have to do that.

Q: Did you still feel wanted here?

A: By my teammates. That was the biggest dilemma I was facing. And obviously my fans. But in terms of being in the work environment, my teammates were the biggest dilemma and that made it tough. But at the end of the day the right decisions were made.

Q: Did you feel you were in the team's plans?
A: I'm not so sure. But at this point for them to go the way they were going and me having the opportunity to try to achieve some things I'm looking to achieve, I think it works out for both sides.

Q: Do you feel you're back to where you want to be as a player?
A: I'll exceed that with the offseason program I'm in now. I'm more focused than I've ever been. I'm focused and poised to get my body right. We're forging a steel individual. That's my whole mentality. I'm working out three, four hours a day right now and the stretching' we're doing an unbelievable amount of stretching and taking care of my body and paying attention to it. [My trainer] is a martial arts instructor and he's really opened my eyes up to a lot of different things, how to get hands off me, how to engage with people. Things that will improve my game, so I'm excited. I'm not gonna put myself in a situation where I'll go somewhere else and embarrass my family. I'm getting myself ready for a big year.

Q: Philly and New York need outside linebackers, you know.
A: I'm not prepared to discuss what the possibilities are. I'll just wait and see. When you work for the Redskins, you've got a lot of teammates and coaches in different places. I haven't been contacted by teams but I have relationships with teammates. A lot of situations could happen. I'd love to compete against the Redskins two times a year, but you never know.

Q: Could you have worked with Dale Lindsey again?
A: It's a working relationship. I have no hard feelings toward Dale, none at all. As a matter of fact I pray for him daily. I have no ill will toward the Redskins. I'll be rooting for them just as hard as I did this year because I love the guys on the team.

Q: Isn't it unusual for a player to forfeit money to leave?
A: They didn't take money out of my pocket. The money in my pocket is still there. I know there were reports that I paid them four million. I didn't pay them to get out of here. You figure that with the way things work out, being out here in the start of free agency gives you an opportunity when it's a great opportunity to be out here. You can't ask for a better situation.

Q: Are you excited, relieved?
A: I don't know exactly. I don't know what I feel. It's a sense of relief because there's been a whole lot of pressure over the last two years. In that aspect, there is a lot of pressure off me. People don't have any idea how much I had on me. Right now I've got to get my mind ready to go out and see who wants me and see if I want them back and see if I can get in a good relationship'.It's worked out for a lot of guys. A lot of guys called me and assured me that there are some good standup people in organizations and franchises around the league, if it came to me being a free agent.

Q: What are you most proud of here?
A: I wouldn't have had it any differently, other than the way it ended. To be brought here and to have the relationships that I've built. When the smoke clears, people will say what they want to say about me. But the thing I'm most proud of is if you take a look at who I really am as a person, there aren't many who would say something that I'd feel bad about. If you had the opportunity to get to know me on a personal level, whether it's fans or media or teammates, what they'd all say is he's a good guy, a caring guy, a compassionate guy. If I'm guilty of anything it's being too passionate about what I believe in. Sometimes that gets you in trouble.


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