Status of Archuleta

With the Bears losing their two backup safeties and the continued health issues of Mike Brown puts Adam Archuleta's name back into the conversation.  The Bears attempted to sign him last year, but the Redskins made him the highest paid safety in NFL history.  Earlier this year their was talk that there was a new rule that would allow him to get out of his contract and then sign with the Bears, where he has a good relationship with Coach Smith and might actually see the field as a safety and not just on special teams.  I contacted Will, one of SB's finest, over at Hogs Haven looking to get a status report on Archuleta.  Turns out he is all over this one.

The score with Archuleta is that he has a 5M option due this year that, if unexcercised, would make the next three years of his salary guaranteed (around 5.6M). I am not sure how the CBA treats guaranteed salary -- ie. whether the team getting him has to pay it or the team sending him off has to pay it. Signing bonuses are the only thing mentioned in trades thus meaning the only hit I know of in a trade would be the 4M remaining on his original signing bonus. That decreases his value in a trade though, as Chicago would be getting Archuleta and the 5.6M in guaranteed salary.

John Mullin thought that Archuleta might buy out of that 4M himself to get an opportunity to play in Chicago, but I find that unlikely. I think the Coaches had a frank sitdown with him and spelled out how he would be used (or more importantly, that he would be used at all). With an improved Defensive Back unit the Redskins can afford to have him and his questionable coverage skills at the line of scrimmage more.
Also regarding the overpaid thing, I believe history is going to prove the Redskins were a lot smarter than anyone gave them credit for. Adam Archuleta signed a 7 year 35M dollar deal which -- as you mentioned -- was the highest for a Safety in history. The thing is that's all funny money; the 10M guaranteed is essentially double counted. His base salaries through 4 years are 600K, 600K, 1M, and 4M. The 2nd year option costs 5M, though if the team doesn't excercise that 600K+1M+4M becomes guaranteed salary (part of the 10M guaranteed -- see how that double counts?) so the Redskins essentially signed Adam Archuleta, if they don't excercise the option, to a 600K+600K+1M+4M+5M(signingbonus)= 4 year around 13M dollar deal with an option to extend 3 years at around 20M and change. The length of his contract (which he'll never see) is pretty nuts, but everyone understands that he won't see the final three years meaning we essentially got him for around 3+M a year. That's not a bad price to pay a Safety in the NFL.

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