ASHBURN, Va. (March 20, 2007) -- Adam Archuleta's tumultuous time with the Washington Redskins ended when he was traded to the Chicago Bears for a sixth-round draft pick, The Associated Press has learned.
Archuleta, who languished on the bench most of last season despite having the richest contract ever given a safety, will be reunited in Chicago with coach Lovie Smith, his former defensive coordinator with the St. Louis Rams.
The trade was confirmed by an official within the league who spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams do not plan to announce it until March 21. The deal came one day before Archuleta was due to paid a guaranteed multi-million-dollar bonus.
The Redskins lured Archuleta to Washington a year ago with a seven-year contract, a signing that quickly became one of the biggest free-agent blunders in the league.
It soon became apparent that assistant coach Gregg Williams would try to use the hard-hitting converted linebacker more as a coverage safety. When Archuleta struggled, he landed firmly in Williams' doghouse.
Archuleta lost the starting job in preseason and regained it for the first seven regular-season games only because of a knee injury to Pierson Prioleau. Archuleta's liabilities were one of the reasons the Redskins were especially vulnerable against long passes as they slumped to a 5-11 record. Eventually, the Redskins took Archuleta out of the defense altogether, using him only on special teams for most of the second half of the season.
The subject was clearly embarrassing to both Williams and coach Joe Gibbs, and neither ever gave an explanation for Archuleta's demotion. Once the season ended, Gibbs indicated Archuleta was still in the team's plans, but those remarks were mostly seen as posturing before a possible trade.
Getting rid of Archuleta wasn't easy because of his mammoth contract. The Redskins didn't want to cut him outright because of the huge cost on their 2007 salary cap. The bonus was already postponed once as the Redskins worked to make a trade, and any deal was expected to include a renegotiation of Archuleta's salaries and bonuses.
The Bears were the only likely destination because of Archuleta's relationship with Smith. Archuleta was hoping to sign with Chicago as a free agent last year, but he decided on Washington after the Redskins offered the big contract.
The Associated Press News Service
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