Friday, March 23, 2007
The Washington Redskins completed the trade of safety Adam Archuleta to Chicago yesterday for a sixth-round pick in next month's draft after the player passed his physical. The Redskins also released seldom-used wide receiver David Patten.
The Redskins and Bears agreed to the particulars of the trade Tuesday night, but Archuleta was unable to take his physical until late yesterday afternoon. Archuleta, who was signed to the biggest contract ever for a safety just a year ago, started only seven games and was benched from the defense in the second half of the season. During a conference call with reporters yesterday, he reiterated his lack of communication with the defense and strained relationship with certain members of the staff -- sources said he and safeties coach Steve Jackson never hit it off -- and said he was eager for a fresh start with the Bears.
Archuleta, 29, said he expects to be used in a manner more conducive to his skills in Chicago -- playing more like a linebacker near the line of scrimmage -- and is excited by a reunion with Bears Coach Lovie Smith, his former position coach in St. Louis. The Redskins will carry $4.5 million in dead-cap charges in 2007 with the trade, sources said, and then be rid of his contract, while Archuleta signed a new three-year, $7.1 million contract with the Bears (with another $1 million possible in incentives). Archuleta's drama-filled stint here in some ways symbolized the club's ill-fated sweeping foray into free agency in 2006.
"We wish things could have worked out better with Adam, but we feel the trade is positive for him, the Bears and the Redskins," Coach Joe Gibbs said in a statement released by the team.
Patten, 32, long expected to be released after two injury-plagued seasons, was one of the club's bigger additions in 2005, but played just 14 games with the team, failing to score a touchdown.
-- Jason La Canfora