Sports Law Blog
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Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Update on Arrington: The Lavar Arrington case just keeps getting more and more bizarre. First, the Sports Business Daily reported that Arrington had signed the NFLPA group licensing pact, ending his status as the only holdout from group licensing rights. Then, Arrington filed a grievance against the Redskins, saying a roster bonus agreed to orally was not included in the final written contract.

Now, the Washington Post and Sports Business Daily (subscription required) are reporting that in that same contract, Arrington may have inadvertently agreed to join the NFLPA licensing group. Arrington's attorneys disagree, saying that section 4b in the standard player contract, which Arrington did not cross out but grants licensing rights to the NFLPA, is superseded by a separate agreement all players sign with the players association, which governs only licensing.

I have two general thoughts on this. One, Arrington should fire his attorney, or whoever drafted/reviewed his latest contract. A $6 million bonus was omitted? A key section on licensing was not crossed out? Arrington signed the contract anyway? This borders on malpractice. Two, why does the NFL have 2 separate agreements concerning licensing? I suppose that one is with the team and one with the NFLPA, but this seems to create a lot of unnecessary confusion. In the end, it may take a judge to decide which of the agreements actually binds the player to the NFLPA licensing pact.

Also, is there such a hot market for Lavar Arrington gear? He may be a good player, but he is no Barry Bonds.


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