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Putting Adam Archuleta behind us (not in Coverage, of course)

Official Word should be released later today pending a physical, or whatever else needs to happen for players to officially move forward. Hogs Haven is ready to officially move on as well.

This morning's Post gets the final word:

The Washington Redskins agreed to trade Adam Archuleta to the Chicago Bears yesterday for a late-round draft pick, NFL sources said, one year after making him the highest-paid safety in league history. The deal, which was contingent on a few routine procedural matters, was not confirmed by either team last night but is expected to be announced today.
The bad news is that the Washington Redskins will now have a 4M dead cap space hit going into '07, per the article:
Had the Redskins executed the option and kept Archuleta as a reserve (behind starters Pierson Prioleau and Sean Taylor), he would have cost them $2.4 million against the salary cap; by dealing him, he likely will count $4 million in dead cap space, pending any other possible contract restructurings, but will be off the team's books after 2007.
That 4M should come as some surprise to many Redskins fans, as it was widely reported that Adam Archuleta had upwards of 9M in guaranteed money remaining on his contract, which is typically paid out in trades or cuts. That 9M was mitigated to 4M, thankfully, by the Chicago Bears:
The Redskins and Archuleta agreed to postpone his original deadline of March 12 to receive his bonus payment in order to facilitate a trade, and the Bears, whose coach, Lovie Smith, has a strong relationship with the safety from their time together in St. Louis, ultimately agreed to pick up that $5 million payment as part of the deal, sources said, beating today's new deadline for the option.
Which partially explains why a former first rounder is traded for a 6th rounder. Archuleta's trade value went down significantly with the attendant 5M in guaranteed money we unloaded on the Bears.

Jason La Canfora speaks more candidly on the subject in his Blog, though most of what he says is also mentioned in his Post article. We've taken a near 4M dead cap hit on a guy who would have only cost the team 2.4M in '07 to keep. That's a net loss of 1.6M that needs explaining. First, it was suggested that many in the organization viewed Archuleta as the source on a damningly critical Tom Friend article earlier in the year where much of our dirty laundry was aired. Second, something about a surgery?

There were also concerns after, sources said, Arch had minor surgery on his ankle in San Francisco this offseason by a specialist he found on his own. He had a bone spur removed and people in Arch's camp have told some they believe the player had an overlooked small stress fracture perhaps; the Redskins were unsure the surgery was necessary at first, if at all, and was just one of a bunch of issues the sides didn't seem to agree on (although that's often the case between players and teams in the NFL in 2007. That's the way it goes).
Finally, though Archuleta would have cost the team 1.6M less to keep on the team in '07 than to release him, the 2.4M we'd pay him was predicated on an excercised option worth 5M in guaranteed money paid out over a 5 year period. The Washington Redskins likely viewed that 5M as money poorly spent (given the various concerns) and they would have regarded Chicago's deal as a way to avoid paying that extra 5M. In other words, the team thought it was money saved; we'd have to pay Archuleta the 4M in dead cap space no matter what (eventually). Had he stayed in Washington, we also would have had to pay him an additional 5M plus whatever base salaries he accumulates over the years. Whether 4M in dead space in '07 is a worthwhile trade for 9M over a number of years -- accompanied ostensibly by some on-field production -- I leave to my reader(s).

How do we put this behind us? The 4M Archuleta will cost is off the books in '07, per the Post article. Although we're now down to three safeties, various sources are suggesting that Omar Stoutmire will be rejoining this Redskins defense. That development deserves its own post, so I won't waste words on it here.

Credit is due to John Mullin of the Chicago Tribune who called this development over a month ago. His take on the trade here. I repeatedly told John I didn't think the deal would go down if only because the 9M we'd have to pay to make it work was simply too much. He was right. I was wrong (for the right reasons! We didn't lose 9M).

If Archuleta is off the books in '07 the only thing we pay towards him now is the around 4M we owe him in guaranteed money that counts against this year's cap. After that, the team is done with Adam Archuleta. Overall value of The Highest Paid Safety Contract in NFL History: 5.595M. I don't say that nearly as defensively as that may sound; for over five and a half million dollars the Redskins got 7 starts, 60 tackles, 1 sack, 0 interceptions, 1 pass defensed. Not a bargain by any means, but a mistake I'm happy to put to bed.

A quick search of "Archuleta" on Hogs Haven reveals no fewer than 68 posts (!!!) many of them devoted exclusively to that subject. I'm moving on, though I encourage reader(s) to post their own concluding thoughts in the comments section or diaries. I wish him well in Chicago as he remained professional throughout his time in Washington (unless he was the source for that Tom Friend article).

One final stab at the team who picked him up, and Windy City Gridiron would be a great place to discuss the ramifications of this for both teams. Da Bears will pay Adam Archuleta at least as much as we paid him. Whether they get more value for him than we did is up to that team, though I can't imagine how they could get less. He is a liability in coverage.

Happy trails, Adam Archuleta.

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