The 2004 Pro Bowl pick, who arguably had a better year in 2005 though he didn't return to Hawaii, showed that desire for an increased presence by working out regularly at Redskin Park even before the off-season conditioning program began on Mar. 27.
"You get to know the guys, and you get that camaraderie," Washington said. "I'm here working, and I see guys like Shawn (Springs) and Cornelius (Griffin) working, and I don't want to let those guys down because I know what they're putting into this."
Washington, who like Springs and Griffin signed with the Redskins as a free agent in March 2004, does miss Arrington.
"It's (strange), and it's going to be for a while," Washington said. "We'll notice LaVar being gone more during the season -- his verbal leadership, his enthusiasm on the field, the way he intimidates opposing teams. But the thing I like about this organization is since I've been here, somebody has stepped up."
That somebody is Washington.
"If you're out front in the drills and here working, that's when you gain the respect of your teammates," he said. "A lot of times, if you come in late and other guys have been here working and you say, 'C'mon, man, pick it up,' they might say, 'You weren't here in March working like I was when I could have been on the beach in Florida or in Sweden or somewhere.' "
Washington admitted he was a "little worried" a new collective bargaining agreement wouldn't be struck, resulting in a lower salary cap and handcuffing the Redskins in free agency."I was hoping they would come to some kind of agreement," he said. "Football is the most popular sport and they didn't want to put that in jeopardy. Especially when the deadline kept getting pushed back, I knew they would figure out a way to come to terms. If the sides didn't want a deal, they would have said, 'Forget it, this is how it's going to be.' "
--Redskins running back Clinton Portis is one of Beckett's latest "Be A Card Geek" supporters. The program is the national trading card industry's 10-month-old campaign to promote the collecting hobby. "Be A Card Geek" is based on the long-popular "Got Milk?" ads.
"Having someone of Clinton's popularity participate in the 'Be A Card Geek' program is a big boost," said Beckett Media chief executive officer Peter Gudmundsson. "Not only is he a collector, but he is also helping us encourage other people to enjoy the hobby."
Portis, who broke in with Denver in 2002, has 62 rookie cards with a total value of more than $1,700.