Note: After this article was posted it was announced that the Bruce had agreed to terms to return to the Rams.
Back in 1971, Redskins coach George Allen pulled off the biggest trades in NFL history when he sent a package of draft picks and players to Los Angeles in exchange for six veteran members of the Rams. The group of players, which included Diron Talbert and Jack Pardee, was dubbed "The Ramskins".
Thirty-five years later, the Redskins are looking at importing some more veteran Rams, although this time there would not have to be any compensation to St. Louis. The Redskins are interested in signing safety Adam Archuleta and receiver Isaac Bruce as unrestricted free agents.
Bruce was released earlier this week just prior to one of the moved deadlines to get under the cap. St. Louis could have recalled the waivers due to the confusion over the CBA, but they declined to do so. The Rams have expressed interest in resigning him, but they recently talked to Bruce's agent, Jimmy Sexton, and there has been little movement in contract talks.
Bruce, 33, has been around for a while. He broke in with the above-mentioned Los Angeles Rams in 1994, the year before the team moved east. From 1999-2003 he posted at least 1,000 yards receiving each season and he gained 1,292 the year before last.
Bruce's production fell off dramatically in 2005, though, as he missed five games due to injuries. Even projected out to a full season, his 36 catches for 535 yards would not be very impressive. On top of that, at 6-0, 188 he's not the bigger, possession receiver that the Redskins are lacking. Although he still has something left in the tank and would bring excellent leadership skills to the team, the Redskins need to be very careful about how much they pay him.
Archuleta might be worth a considerable offer. Almost two full seasons away from being 30, he is in the prime of his career. The skills on his resume seem to be a good fit for Gregg Williams' defense. He's aggressive, a big hitter, and a good blitzer. While his aggressive nature sometimes gets him in trouble on pass coverage, he has coverage skills that are more than adequate.
Although safety is not an area that's high on the team's priority list, the incumbent at the position, Ryan Clark, is a free agent. Clark gets high marks for character and determination, but even if he does come back, Archuleta would certainly represent an upgrade.
In tandem with Sean Taylor, the Redskins would have a pair of safeties up the middle that would be excellent in run support and that would give opposing receivers a severe case of alligator arms.
According to published reports, the Redskins were scheduled to meet with Archuleta on Friday, but the delay of the start of free agency pushed that meeting back. Often the Redskins target one free agent at the start of the period, make him an offer that he can't refuse and have him signed before the sun comes up. That could be what happens with Archuleta this Saturday.