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Arrington: 'It's like, just let me disappear and die'

WASHINGTON -- LaVar Arrington criticized the Washington Redskins for failing to support him during his recent knee
injury, an injury that forced him to have another surgery last
week.

"It's like nothing in terms of the support from them, it's like
nothing," Arrington told reporters at Redskins Park on Monday.
"It's like, just let me disappear and die."

Arrington, walking on crutches, revealed that he had a second
surgery last Wednesday on the same knee that forced him to miss 11
games last season. He said he will be in no rush to come back.

"I'm taking as much time as I need, and if that means they're
upset and want to get rid of me, then so be it," Arrington said.
"But I'm not coming back before my knee is better. I tried it
their way, and it got me on crutches again."

Arrington had the first surgery, which repaired torn cartilage,
after Week 2 last season. His implication is that the team rushed
him back onto the field. His return was delayed when a deep bone
bruise was discovered in the knee, but he eventually played in two
ineffective games as a reserve in December before being placed on
injured reserve for the season finale.

Arrington said part of his problem is that he hasn't built a
relationship with Joe Gibbs, who arrived last year as the fifth
head coach in Arrington's five years with the Redskins.

"They're new, and then I get hurt, and every year it's always
someone new," Arrington said. "Does that mean it's right the way
it's being handled? I had a teammate that didn't even know that I
had surgery on my knee, and that's the first one, too. It's just
mixed emotions, man. It makes you wonder, man, what's their
agenda?"

Asked to comment on Arrington's remarks, Gibbs told The
Associated Press that he's "always erred on the side of
conservative" with Arrington.

"LaVar got mad at me last year because he said I was too
conservative," Gibbs told the AP. "He wanted to play."

As for Arrington's claim that the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker
didn't have the support of the coaching staff, Gibbs said Arrington
was upset when making those comments because of the need to have
the second surgery.

"LaVar was emotional and said some things," Gibbs said. "But
LaVar knows that we've been conservative with him."

Gibbs said Arrington's second surgery was needed after some
setbacks during recent offseason workouts at Redskins Park. Gibbs
said Arrington had some "floating bodies" removed from the knee
and also had some scar tissue trimmed.

Gibbs said the doctor feels Arrington will be fine by the time
the season starts in September, but that the team will be "careful
and cautious" with Arrington's rehabilitation for a couple of
months.

Gibbs said he and Arrington spoke on the telephone for about 45
minutes Monday evening, but that Arrington did not repeat many of
the concerns the linebacker had aired publicly only a few hours
earlier. He said another meeting with Arrington is scheduled for
Tuesday to "go over everything from A to Z" concerning
Arrington's rehabilitation.

Arrington also accused the Redskins of delaying the grievance he
filed over a $6.5 million bonus that he claims was supposed to be a
part of the nine-year, $68 million contract signed near the end of
the 2004 season. A hearing scheduled for November was postponed,
with no new date set.

"You guys use your common sense," Arrington said. "Why do
think they keep pushing it back? … Why do you guys think they
keep pushing it back for such a non-winnable situation and an
asinine thing for me to do, why do you think it keeps getting
pushed back? But I could care less about anything else other than
my knee right now."

Gibbs said he was under the impression that the Redskins had no
control over the grievance process. The coach said he would address
the contract matter further at a Tuesday news conference.