11:19am: According to Galette’s agent, Alvin Keels (Twitter link), the one-year deal is for the league minimum. Considering Galette got a significant chunk of money from the Saints earlier this year, he’ll still be well-compensated in 2015, but it could be a bargain deal for Washington if he stays out of off-field trouble.
Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network (via Twitter), Washington will also have the right of first refusal on Galette for 2016, meaning the team will have the chance to match any offer he receives from another club.
11:08am: Four days after being officially released by the Saints, outside linebacker Junior Galette has found a new home. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Galette is signing a one-year deal with Washington for the 2015 season.
Galette, 27, was the Saints’ best pass rusher over the last two seasons, recording 12 sacks in 2013 and picking up another 10 – along with three forced fumbles – in 2014. His production earned him a lucrative contract extension in September, but his offseason was dominated by negative headlines. In January, Galette was arrested on a domestic violence charge that was later dropped. More recently a video from 2013 surfaced showing a man that appears to be Galette involved in a beach brawl, striking a woman with a belt.
The off-field concerns resulted in the Saints releasing Galette on Monday, despite having to eat a huge chunk of dead money. Following the move, reports surfaced indicating that Galette had a negative influence on the New Orleans locker room, and his former teammates didn’t seem too broken up about his departure.
Despite all the negatives – including the fact that Galette is coming back from a pectoral injury – the Washington front office apparently liked what it saw when the veteran free agent visited the team and took a physical this week. Galette will look to join Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, and the just-extended Ryan Kerrigan to create a formidable pass rush in D.C.
There’s still a possibility that the league decides to hand down a suspension for Galette’s off-field behavior, though there’s been no indication that it will happen, and the ex-Saint recently said he thought he was “in the clear” after meeting with league officials.