By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 22, 2007
The Washington Redskins' trade of safety Adam Archuleta to the Chicago Bears for a sixth-round pick will be finalized this morning, pending the results of Archuleta's physical. The trade, which would create salary cap room for the Redskins in future years, was agreed upon Tuesday night.
In other news yesterday, the Redskins announced the signing of safety Omar Stoutmire.
Archuleta, who previously played for Bears Coach Lovie Smith when he was defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, was benched for the second half of his only season in Washington and would depart one year after being signed to the biggest contract ever given a safety. He was set to arrive in Chicago last night, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, and although he underwent a minor surgical procedure on his ankle this offseason, sources said the Bears were made aware of that before the trade and it is not expected to be an impediment to the deal.
The trade culminated weeks of conversations between the clubs, talks that began at the annual scouting combine, according to league sources. The Bears presented an option for the Redskins to part with a player who had a rocky tenure with them, but whom they appeared stuck with because of the nature of his contract. In the end, Archuleta agreed to a new deal with the Bears, and Chicago assumed almost all of the $5 million roster bonus he is due. However, according to a league source, the Redskins will assume a small portion of that total, believed to be about $500,000, and Archuleta will count about $4.5 million against Washington's 2007 cap, then be off the team's books.
Stoutmire signed a one-year deal, believed to be around the veteran minimum, and returns to Washington, where he spent the 2005 season. Stoutmire played in New Orleans in 2006.
Redskins Note: Free agent offensive lineman Zach Piller, who has been effective as a guard despite injuries, was scheduled to arrive in Washington last night and visit with team officials today, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Piller would provide further depth to the line and would provide competition to Todd Wade for the starting spot vacated by guard Derrick Dockery's departure. Piller, who spent eight seasons with Tennessee, missed much of 2004 and 2006 but started all 16 games in 2005.