Chicago traded what is believed to be a sixth-round pick in April's NFL Draft to Washington for Adam Archuleta. After being drafted 20th overall by St. Louis out of Arizona State in 2001, Archuleta had five strong seasons with the Rams. He signed a $25 million free agent contract with the Redskins just a little over a year ago, but he quickly fell out of favor in our nation's capital and was scheduled to be a backup in 2007.
Lovie Smith was the defensive coordinator in St. Louis before leaving to become the head coach with the Bears in 2004, so he is quite familiar with the former Sun Devil. As a matter of fact, Smith pursued Archuleta this past offseason in hopes of landing his former pupil as a free agent. Archuleta was an extremely productive player in Smith's version of the cover-two defense, highlighted by a career-high 116 tackles in 2002.
Archuleta was forced to re-work his contract in order for the trade to happen, but it has been reported that he agreed to a three-year, $8.1 million deal with $5 million guaranteed.
The Bears had trouble at safety in 2006 once Pro-Bowler Mike Brown was put on injured reserve after Week 6. Rookie Danieal Manning played well in the early going but had some problems down the stretch, and backups Todd Johnson and Cameron Worrell both left via free agency. Chris Harris has been inconsistent his two years in the league, and Brandon McGowan, Tyler Everett, and Nick Turnbull are all largely inexperienced.
Despite the addition of Archuleta, it is still likely that the Bears will select another safety on the first day of next month's NFL Draft.
More to come on this breaking story as it becomes available to BearReport.com.
|John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.|