Archuleta, signed in March to the richest contract for a safety in NFL history, hasn't played a snap on defense in seven weeks. Coach Joe Gibbs and assistant Gregg Williams have not given an explanation for the benching, and they've shown little patience when asked to discuss Archuleta's plight beyond generic comments such as: "He's had a good week of practice."
"Do I deserve an explanation?" Archuleta said. "I don't know if an explanation matters anymore because what's done is done. I pretty much know what's going on. I pretty much know what it all stems from."
Archuleta wouldn't go into detail, but he said he hopes the
coaching staff is upfront with him when they meet with him in next
week's exit interviews.
"I'm a grown man. I don't like getting lied to," Archuleta said. "All people want is for people to be straight up with them. I don't mind bad news. I don't mind negativity. I don't mind if somebody says to my face what my flaws are and what I'm doing wrong and what kind of person they think I am.
"I welcome those kind of things because an honest assessment is all anybody wants in this business. I don't need someone to sit here and tell me how great I am: 'I'm doing good, just keep working hard.' I don't need that. I need real stuff. That's the only way I can make an evaluation as to who I am as a player."
Archuleta, a free agent from St. Louis, signed a seven-year, $35 million contract that includes $10 million in bonuses, but it became immediately apparent during training camp that Williams wanted to use his new player in different ways than the Rams did.
Archuleta, a hard-hitting converted linebacker, was asked to play more coverage -- not his strong suit. He started the first seven games only because Pierson Prioleau was lost for the season with a knee injury, and his liabilities are one of the reasons the Redskins lead the league in allowing passes of 20 yards or more.
Now Archuleta isn't a part of the defense at all. He's used only on special teams, and that's the only role he expects to play in Saturday night's season finale against the New York Giants. There seems little sense in having him return next year, even if it means taking a large salary cap hit.
Archuleta spoke after Gibbs had addressed the media, although Gibbs made tacit acknowledgment of the Archuleta mistake and other free agent miscues by saying he plans to re-examine the team's approach to the offseason. Williams was not available to reporters Thursday.
Archuleta was vague when asked about his future.
"A lot of things have been going through my mind," Archuleta said. "I've pretty much scoured every subject known to man in the last six months of my life, so we'll see."