Another Free Agent Lost to Washington?

In a strictly financial move, Antwaan Randle El chose Washington over coming to Chicago. If that wasn't bad enough, the Redskins outspent the Bears for the services of another free agent.

At the beginning of the signing period the Bears made an offer of six-year with a total worth of $18 million to Randle El. In typical fashion, the Redskins added an extra year and nearly $13 million more onto the total worth of the deal Chicago offered. There was also a difference of more than $3 million in bonus money.

Understandably Randle El went with for the longer and more lucrative deal. He's expected to be the second or third receiver for the Redskins, who also traded for Brandon Lloyd over the weekend.

Now Washington has reportedly added another free agent the Bears wanted to make a run at. Safety Adam Archuleta visited with the Redskins on Sunday and the team signed him to a deal that will pay $3.5 million annually.

Archuleta is the likely replacement for Ryan Clark, whom the Redskins were unable to re-sign before the start of free agency. He also provides insurance in case Sean Taylor misses playing time because of aggravated assault charges in Florida.

Lovie Smith spent three seasons as Archuleta's defensive coordinator in St. Louis. The Bears would like to add depth at defensive back and had interest in him, but will have to look elsewhere.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo is concerned about the health of Pro Bowl strong safety Mike Brown, who has missed 18 of the last 32 regular-season games with injuries.

As a result, Brown's off-season workouts will be adjusted to prevent injuries like the strained calf that kept him out of four games last season and most of the playoff loss to the Panthers.

"We did (that with) Brian Urlacher two years ago (after he suffered four injuries in the 2004 season), and Brian changed his whole regimen of training," Angelo said. "Strength and conditioning coordinator) Rusty Jones spent an inordinate amount of time with him in certain areas that really helped him, and I think Brian would say the same. It's something we feel we can work on. We're addressing certain things with each player, and we're probably going to be doing something a little bit different with Mike in the off-season."

With Brown's durability a concern and with former starter Mike Green a likely cap casualty and rookie Chris Harris failing to provide consistency despite an impressive rookie season, the Bears could use an upgrade at safety.

Archuleta seemed like a natural fit, but the Redskins beat the Bears to the punch on consecutive days.


Bear Report Top Stories