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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The view on LaVar Arrington

It would be great if the Dolphins were to land LaVar Arrington. He's a proven NFL linebacker and has a lot of upside in his game because of his strength and quickness and, mostly, his aggressiveness.

But there's a reason no team has stepped out and offered Arrington the nearly $7 million per year he's asking.

During his days with the Redskins he simply had trouble adjusting to different requests coaches made of him. He was great as a freelancer. But within a disciplined scheme on a specific play, he would not always be in the right place.

I talked to excellent Sports Illustrated writer Peter King about Arrington at the owner's meetings last month and he told me his Redskins source, which is a good friend on the coaching staff, related that the team hated to see Arrington go. But that his inability to play within the guidelines of the defense often times cost the team big plays -- more big plays than what Arrington made while he was freelancing.

I cannot vouch for that because I don't watch film of the Redskins and didn't see any of their games in person. But there has to be something to that because Arrington was benched for much of last season even while the team was winning a bunch of games in a row to make the playoffs. That tells me the team didn't exactly collapse without him.

The source also told King, and he relayed to me, that there was no animosity between Arrington and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams apparently thought highly of Arrington's physical skills, but didn't play him as early as he could have because, again, Arrington was freelancing.

Having said all that, I still think Arrington would be a fine addition and I would trust Nick Saban to coach him up well enough to where the freelancing wouldn't be a problem.

Objectively, Arrington seems well worth a $6 million bonus and a $5 million a year salary. But I would never invest a $12 million signing bonus and an average of $7 million a year on the guy -- and that's pretty much what he's asking.


Blogger RogerT said...

Funny how people try to talk themselves into something. I live in the DC area (still a Fins Fan, though) and Lavar is a headcase we can't afford in any way. To say "he simply had trouble adjusting to different coaches requests" sounds like possibly another way of saying "he's an idiot who gets overly frustrated with his teachers". Forget Lavar. Let some other poor team deal with him, his head, and his salary. RV

8:11 AM  

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