The Washington Post wrote a story about former Redskins safety Adam Archuleta, and the way he’s working to polish his broadcasting skills for a second career.
But the fascinating part of the report may be Archuleta’s openness about how unhappy he was during his playing days, despite the fame and riches that came from the sport. The 34-year-old former safety said he allowed his play to define his worth as a person, which left him searching.
“There was a time when that’s all I was,” Archuleta said. “And ultimately I don’t think that’s a very satisfying place to be. It wasn’t for me, anyway.”
He once signed a six-year, $30 million contract that made him the highest-paid safety in the game. But that didn’t buy him any peace of mind in Washington, where his play declined and he succumbed to the pressure of living up to expectations.
That pressure was quickly taken out on his family, and Archuleta called himself a “miserable dredge of a person.”
“It was like life or death, and when things weren’t going well, I took it like I was dying,” he said. “I fought so hard and was so depressed and messed up that it changed me as a person. It took me a few years to realize that there is more to life.”
The good news for Archuleta is that he’s finding an outlet now. For too many players, the end of their playing careers also comes with the end of the only structure they’ve ever known as adults.
The NFL life is regimented to the minute, and too many aren’t prepared for what happens when the clock hits zero for the last time. The good news is Archuleta sounds like he’s on his way to finding something that validates him beyond the contract or the scoreboard.