LaVar Arrington (born June 20, 1978 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is a professional football player, a linebacker, who plays for the New York Giants in the NFL. Arrington was drafted as the second choice overall in the 2000 NFL draft by the Washington Redskins. Arrington, a college standout at Penn State, was elected as a starter for the NFC in three consecutive Pro Bowls from 2000-2003. He started playing football at Pittsburgh's North Hills High School.
His career as a college football player at Penn State earned him numerous awards. He was an All Big-Ten selection, a first team All-American, and he won the Chuck Bednarik and Dick Butkus awards for his defensive prowess. Among his many outstanding plays, he is most famous for a spectacular play that has come to be known as "LaVar's Leap". During a game against the Illinois, the Fighting Illini offense was facing a fourth down. Arrington timed the snap perfectly, leapt over the offensive line and tackled the runner in the backfield for a loss.
Arrington's quick movement, powerful tackling, aggressive nature and impressive field vision have given him the name "The Killa" among fans.
After four prolific seasons with the Redskins, Arrington signed an eight-year, $68 million contract extension with his club, ensuring a steady anchor at the linebacker position. Arrington was one of the Redskins' most popular and visible players - his #56 jersey outselling all other jerseys combined in the team's stores. However, his agents, the infamous Carl and Kevin Poston, neglected to inspect the final revision of the contract, in which $6.5 million worth of bonuses contained in earlier drafts were missing. The ensuing battle over the mishandling of his contract, along with a tempestuous final two seasons in which he suffered from knee injuries and was benched by head coach Joe Gibbs and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for freelancing, created a rift between Arrington and the team. On March 5, 2006, he asked to be released by the Redskins, in essence paying the Redskins over $4 million to buy his free agency. Kevin Poston was given a two-year suspension by the players' union over the mishandling of Arrington's contract.
In April 2006, Arrington agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract with the New York Giants. There, Arrington will be reunited with fellow Redskin expatriate, linebacker Antonio Pierce, along with his Penn State teammate, linebacker Brandon Short, in what promises to be one of the premiere defensive playmaking units in the NFL.