Redskins wrap up Arrington

Deal: 7 years, $50 million

Davis signs 1-year pact

July 23, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

ASHBURN, Va. - Dressed in a bluish-black checkerboard suit, NFL draft No. 2 pick LaVar Arrington expressed relief yesterday at getting his contract resolved with the Redskins.

Arrington agreed to a seven-year deal that could be worth as much as $50 million, with a $10.75 million signing bonus. The contract, which has a base salary of between $35 million and $36 million, is voidable after the sixth year. The signing ends a six-day holdout.

"I'm just excited to be here," Arrington said. "It was painful for me to be sitting at home waiting, knowing that everybody is there. But I'm here now. Now it's time to play ball."

Arrington's news conference ended a fruitful day for the Redskins, who had their starting running back standing at the same podium about four hours earlier.

Stephen Davis, the Redskins' franchise player, agreed to terms on the team's one-year tender worth $3.532 million. The arrival of Davis and Arrington means the Redskins have come to terms with all of their players.

Redskins coach Norv Turner said Arrington will practice tomorrow, but not in the afternoon scrimmage. Arrington will be limited to one-on-one and conditioning drills.

He will compete with strongside linebacker Greg Jones for the starting position during training camp. Arrington acknowledges that he is behind, not just because of the holdout but also because of missing part of an earlier mini-camp for the birth of his child.

Arrington and his agents, Carl and Kevin Poston, dismissed the idea that the holdout was because he wanted more money than former Penn State teammate Courtney Brown, the draft's No. 1 pick.

"Everybody was really on the Courtney Brown thing," Arrington said. "For me, I was just worrying about my well-being. I could care less about what happens with Courtney Brown in terms of his contract. I have to worry about my welfare."

Said Carl Poston, "The good thing is LaVar is happy, the Redskins are happy, it worked well and it was a fair deal."

Now the Redskins will work on long-term contracts with Davis and quarterback Brad Johnson, who is in the final year of his deal.

As Washington's franchise player, Davis earns the average of the five highest-paid running backs in the league. The deal is not as straightforward as that, though. Davis' agent, Steve Weinberg, called it the most creative one-year contract in the history of the league.

There are nine incentive triggers, ranging from total yardage to number of catches. If Davis exceeds his total from last season in any one of those incentives, the team would be unable to franchise him again next season.

One of the incentives is touchdown catches. Davis needs only one this season to pass his total of none last year to remove the franchise tag.

The idea is to get Davis a long-term contract by the end of the season, after the two sides failed in that attempt this past off-season. If Davis reaches an incentive but does not have a long-term contract, his salary will significantly increase over the $2.532 million base, according to Weinberg. Davis received a $1 million signing bonus.

"The incentive is avery makeable incentive for Stephen," Weinberg said.

But Davis could still be named the team's transitional player next year. If that happened, his salary would be the average of the 10 highest-paid running backs. He could receive and sign offers from other teams, but the Redskins would have the right to match any offers or be compensated for losing him.

Davis, 26, is coming off a Pro Bowl year in which he rushed for 1,405 yards.

"I just wanted to get into camp," Davis said. "I was starting to get on my wife's nerves."

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