Junior Galette is heading into free agency it appears. The edge rusher, who spent the past three seasons with the Washington Redskins, feels that way as well. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier and Craig Hoffman, Galette says the Redskins essentially want him to test free agency.
“I haven’t spoken to them personally,” Galette said to Rouhier and Hoffman. “But speaking to my agent, Drew Rosenhaus, I think the bottom line was that he basically said they’re pretty much gonna let me test free agency, because I’m pretty sure that if it was the other way around, they would have offered me a deal.”
Galette signed a series of one-year deals with the Redskins starting in 2015 after he was released by the New Orleans Saints just ahead of the 2015 season, one year after signing a $41.5 million, four-year extension. His release from New Orleans came shortly after details emerged of him being charged with domestic violence stemming from an incident earlier in the year.
Concerns of his character surfaced throughout teams in the league as the domestic violence charges were in addition to a video emerging from a 2013 incident in which Galette struck a woman with a belt during a brawl at Miami Beach. Charges were later dropped from the 2015 domestic violence incident and never filed for the 2013 Miami Beach incident.
With the Redskins, Galette missed the 2015 season after suffering a torn left Achilles tendon in practice that August. He re-signed with the Redskins on a one-year deal for the 2016 season. However, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout in July of that year. He missed his second consecutive season. Washington kept good faith with Galette, re-signing him to a third one-year deal in February of 2017 despite the back-to-back season-ending injuries.
Galette would appear in all 16 games in 2017, recording three sacks on 407 snaps. Pro Football Focus graded Galette (83.4) among the upper-tier of pass rushers. However, they listed him as one of the more riskier, but rewarding free agents this off-season.
Grade wise, there was hardly any difference between Galette’s play this past season and that which earned him a 4-year, $41.5 million extension back in 2014. Even after back-to-back seasons lost with Achilles tears, Galette still had the juice he became known for in New Orleans. The issue is that it came only 407 snaps as a designated pass-rusher and not the 800-plus snaps a full-time edge setter would get, which is what he was in his prime. He still earned an 83.4 pass-rushing grade on those limited snaps and a majority of that work against left tackles. With a thin pass-rushing crop in free agency, Galette might be the best value available.
While he admits the opportunity to be a free agent is enticing, if it was up to him, his first choice would be Washington.
“Of course it’s the first choice. I mean, this team picked me up when the NFL and a lot of teams were concerned,” Galette said to Rouhier and Hoffman. “I was on a $48 million contract and saw a year of that. So obviously teams were a little bit concerned that, why would someone release a player that was producing and also a captain at the time? So they had some character concerns and the Redskins picked me up.”
The Redskins have 19 free agents to consider, including fellow edge rusher, Trent Murphy. Washington have already settled on a stable quarterback in Alex Smith. Now, they shift their focus on valuable additions. That could come with Galette being a subtraction.
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