Former first-round pick Archuleta released after one season

Career statistics
Tackles: 530

Sacks: 18

INTs: 4

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears released veteran strong safety Adam Archuleta on Tuesday, ending a brief and disappointing tenure with the team.

Archuleta, 30, broke a hand early last season and started in just 10 of the 15 games in which he appeared. He lost his starting job to Brandon McGowan and finished the season on special teams.

The Bears drafted LSU safety Craig Steltz in the fourth round of last month, but Tuesday's announcement was still a surprise. Coach Lovie Smith said at the combine in February that the Bears did not plan to cut Archuleta.

"Adam, just like some more of our players, didn't have the type of season we were hoping, he was hoping," Smith said at the time. "But he's still a part of our ballclub and we're expecting him to come back stronger this year."

The Bears acquired Archuleta from the Washington Redskins in March 2007 for a sixth-round draft pick.

When he joined Washington in 2006, he received the largest contract ever given to a safety: $30 million for six years, with a $10 million bonus. But he flopped, playing mostly on special teams and finishing the season as a third-stringer.

St. Louis drafted Archuleta with the 20th overall pick in 2001.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.

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