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Arrington settles contract dispute with 'Skins

WASHINGTON (Aug. 26, 2005) -- Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington won't be getting the money he claims was removed from the final draft of his contract.

Instead, Arrington settled his long-standing dispute with the team by agreeing to a deal that could make him a free agent or net him a bonus if he makes two Pro Bowls in the next four years.

Arrington, his lawyer and team officials completed the agreement, ending a spat that had strained the linebacker's relations with the team for some 18 months.

The disagreement stemmed from an eight-year contract Arrington signed near the end of the 2003 season. The deal was rushed to completion because the Redskins were trying to beat a deadline for salary-cap purposes.

Arrington and his agent, Carl Poston, then claimed that the Redskins bilked the linebacker out of a promised bonus that was agreed upon but did not appear in the final contract. The Redskins denied the allegations, and Arrington filed a grievance through the players' union.

Arbitration hearings were postponed repeatedly, but Arrington's case did not appear strong because he and Poston signed the final contract -- with Poston initialing every page -- without the bonus included. Instead, both Arrington and the Redskins agreed to work on a compromise over the last few weeks.

Under the settlement, the Redskins have the option of giving Arrington a bonus if he makes the Pro Bowl twice in the next four years. If they decline to give him the bonus, Arrington can void the contract and become a free agent.

Arrington will also receive an additional bonus if he is on the field for 98 percent of special-teams plays, a highly improbable scenario.

Arrington went to three straight Pro Bowls from 2001-03, but he injured his knee early last season and played in only four games. He had two surgeries, a lengthy offseason rehabilitation and returned to practice last week. He was expected to make his 2005 preseason debut in Friday night's game against Pittsburgh.

"I looked forward to the focus on me being turned back on football," Arrington said in a statement.

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