Junior Galette

Junior Galette Could Still Re-Sign With Redskins?

Although the Redskins in May informed Junior Galette that he would not be re-signed, the veteran edge rusher indicated Wednesday that his run in the nation’s capital may not yet have reached its end. “Lol still a chance,” Galette replied on Twitter when asked if a new contact with Washington remained a possibility.

Whether or not Galette’s tweet is any indication of serious interest on the Redskins’ part is unclear, especially given that team executive Doug Williams said in March that the club was “moving in another direction.” Washington is well-stocked along the edge, as starters Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith are backed up by 2017 second-rounder Ryan Anderson and free agent acquisition Pernell McPhee.

If he were re-signed by the Redskins, Galette probably wouldn’t have much of a role. Other clubs that have expressed interest in Galette, however, do have a clear need at defensive end/outside linebacker: a club like the Rams, who were linked to Galette in March, still has a gaping hole at edge defender, while the Browns could use another end to play opposite Myles Garrett. Galette, who has also drawn interest from the Raiders, has reportedly also considered retirement.

Galette, of course, was once a double-digit sack force with the Saints from 2013-14, but injuries and off-field issues have turned him into more a rotational player. After suffering those aforementioned torn Achilles tendons in both 2015 and 2016, Galette finally got in a full season with the Redskins in 2017, and played extremely well on 37% of the club’s defensive snaps. While he only posted three sacks, Galette managed 25 pressures and graded as the league’s No. 30 edge defender among 106 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Junior Galette Mulling Offers, Retirement

Former Redskins defensive end Junior Galette has three offers on the table but is also considering retirement, the veteran pass rusher wrote in a post on Instagram on Sunday. 

Galette, 30, reportedly had interest from the Rams and Browns earlier this offseason, and in April the Raiders were kicking the tires on the former Saints linebacker who posted double-digit sacks in back-to-back season in 2013 and 2014. Initially, Washington had interest in bringing Galette back, but team senior vice president for personnel Doug Williams shot that down in March.

After those two breakout campaigns in New Orleans, Galette was ravaged by a pair of Achilles injuries that cost him each of the next two seasons. He returned in 2017 with the Redskins and was productive, posting three sacks and managing 25 pressures to grade out as the league’s No. 30 edge defender among 106 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

Galette has also been troubled by off-the-field issues in recent years. He was arrested in January 2014 on a domestic violence charge that was later dropped. A video then surfaced from 2013 showing a man that appeared to be Galette striking a woman with a belt while involved in a beach brawl. A month later, Galette was released from the Saints, who absorbed significant cap penalties. In 2017, he was also arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to comply with police officers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Meet With Junior Galette

The Raiders are set to meet with linebacker Junior Galette, as John Keim of ESPN.com tweets. He adds that Galette has drawn interest from a “couple of teams” in free agency. 

Back in March, we heard that the Rams and Browns had interest in the Redskins free agent edge rusher. Still, he remains on the market here in April.

Galette was once a double-digit sack force with the Saints from 2013-14, but he profiles more as a rotation player due to off-field issues and injuries in recent years. After suffering torn Achilles tendons in both 2015 and 2016, Galette finally got in a full season with the Redskins in 2017, and looked strong as he played on on 37% of the team’s defensive snaps.

While he only posted three sacks, Galette managed 25 pressures and graded out the league’s No. 30 edge defender among 106 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Washington, at one point, working to retain Galette, but a return is no longer in the cards.

Most NFL teams are focused on younger players these days, but Jon Gruden has bucked the trend by adding several players around the age of 30 and beyond. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson, running back Doug Martin, safety Marcus Gilchrist, and cornerbacks Shareece Wright and Leon Hall have been among those to join up with Oakland this offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Won’t Re-Sign LB Junior Galette

The Redskins have informed free agent edge rusher Junior Galette that he will not be re-signed, as Washington senior vice president for personnel Doug Williams told Liz Clarke of the Washington Post.

“I did tell him we were going in another direction, and he was very thankful,” Williams said. “He had two Achilles’ injuries, and we stuck by him. We gave him a chance, and he’s very appreciative of it. He told me, ‘Thank you. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know whether I’d still be here,’ so it was a good conversation.”

Galette, of course, was once a double-digit sack force with the Saints from 2013-14, but injuries and off-field issues have turned him into more a rotational player. After suffering those aforementioned torn Achilles tendons in both 2015 and 2016, Galette finally got in a full season with the Redskins in 2017, and played extremely well on 37% of the club’s defensive snaps.

While he only posted three sacks, Galette managed 25 pressures and graded as the league’s No. 30 edge defender among 106 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Reports recently indicated Washington was working to retain Galette, but Redskins always expected another team to make a better offer. Washington has already lost one free agent pass rusher this offseason, as Trent Murphy inked a three-year deal with Buffalo.

Galette, who turns 30 years old on Tuesday, isn’t wanting for interest, as he’s reportedly drawn the eye of both the Rams and Browns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams, Browns Interested In Junior Galette

The Rams and Browns both have interest in Redskins free agent edge rusher Junior Galette, according to Chick Hernandez of CSN Washington (Twitter link). While Los Angeles and Cleveland are indeed eyeing Galette, neither club has made an official offer, reports John Keim of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Galette, of course, was once a double-digit sack force with the Saints from 2013-14, but injuries and off-field issues have turned him into more a rotational player. After suffering torn Achilles tendons in both 2015 and 2016, Galette finally got in a full season with the Redskins in 2017, and played extremely well on 37% of the club’s defensive snaps.

While he only posted three sacks, Galette managed 25 pressures and graded as the league’s No. 30 edge defender among 106 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Reports last week indicated Washington was working to retain Galette, but Keim says the Redskins expect another team to make a better offer. Washington has already lost one free agent pass rusher this offseason, as Trent Murphy inked a three-year deal with Buffalo.

The Rams make sense as a Galette destination not only because they need edge rushing help (especially after trading Robert Quinn), but because Los Angeles coaches Sean McVay and Joe Barry each worked with Galette in Washington. If signed by the Rams, Galette would likely be in for a major role, as the club’s current crop of outside linebackers — Matt Longacre, Samson Ebukam, and Carlos Thompson — don’t offer a ton of experience.

The Browns, too, have connections to Galette, as front office consultant Scot McCloughan brought Galette to Washington as the Redskins’ general manager, while defensive coordinator Gregg Williams held the same title in New Orleans during the early portion of Galette’s career. Cleveland ranked 17th in adjusted sack rate a season ago, and its only free agent addition on the edge (thus far) is former Bengal Chris Smith, although the Browns did attempt to trade for Quinn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: DRC, Redskins, Maxwell

Free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie says he’s in no rush to make a decision in free agency. Right now, he’s hoping to make a decision “in April sometime” (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson).

Rodgers-Cromartie visited with the Redskins and had a meeting scheduled with the Saints, but it seems that New Orleans lost interest after signing fellow corner Patrick Robinson. The Redskins could still use an addition to their cornerback group, but it’s possible that their offer was not to DRC’s liking. Or, perhaps no offer was made.

Before he was released by the Giants, DRC reportedly agreed to play safety in 2018. That could be a solution for him if his market continues to stall.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • As teams try to hold onto their own players, two to watch: The Redskins are working to keep outside linebacker Junior Galette and the Seahawks are doing the same with cornerback Byron Maxwell, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). We had Galette ranked as a top-12 edge rusher heading into free agency. Maxwell did not make the top 15 at his position due to his decline in performance and the depth of this year’s CB crop.
  • Linebacker Demario Davis says the Jets didn’t make him an offer before he signed with the Saints. “The shocking thing was the Jets didn’t make me an offer, so that made my decision easy because all I had to do was look at the contenders,” Davis said (via Rod Walker of The Advocate). “It would have been something to weigh. The hardest decision isn’t where to go, but deciding if you want to go or stay. So I didn’t have to make that decision so that was the peaceful thing about it. I was able to just weight my options objectively.” Things worked out just fine for Davis as he signed a three-year, $24MM deal with New Orleans.
  • The Dolphins have been talking with agent Drew Rosenhaus about re-signing offensive tackle Sam Young, Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald tweets. If retained, Young would return as Miami’s third offensive tackle.

Top 2018 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense on Monday, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2018:

Edge defender:

  1. Julius Peppers
  2. William Hayes
  3. Trent Murphy
  4. Pernell McPhee
  5. Aaron Lynch
  6. Alex Okafor
  7. Adrian Clayborn
  8. Kony Ealy
  9. Connor Barwin
  10. Jeremiah Attaochu
  11. Junior Galette
  12. Derrick Shelby
  13. Barkevious Mingo
  14. Kareem Martin
  15. Erik Walden

As a positional group, pass rushers comprise interesting market on the defensive side of the ball. It’s not often that a list of best available players is topped by a 38-year-old, but Peppers is the top free agent edge defender after the Cowboys and Lions deployed the franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence and Ezekiel Ansah, respectively. As with quarterbacks, NFL clubs are extremely reluctant to allow pass rushers to hit the open market, so top-tier options are rarely ever truly “available.” Peppers, for his part, hasn’t even declared whether he’ll return in 2018, but indications are that he’ll suit up for a 17th campaign after posting 11 sacks last year.

Alongside Peppers, other veterans populate the edge market, and while William Hayes may not be a household name, he’ll be a contributor for whichever team signs him. A stout run defender, Hayes is also capable of generating pressure despite managing only one sack in 2017. The Dolphins used Hayes on only 271 defensive snaps a season ago, and have since replaced him by acquiring fellow defensive end Robert Quinn from the Rams. Now that he’s entering his age-33 season, Hayes should come cheap, but will almost assuredly outplay his contract.

Nearly every other available pass rusher has some sort of flaw which will likely limit his market next week. Trent Murphy is only 27 years old and put up nine sacks in 2016, but he missed the entirety of the 2017 campaign with injury. Pernell McPhee, Alex Okafor, Junior Galette, and Derrick Shelby have also been plagued by health questions in recent seasons. And Adrian Clayborn famously registered the majority of his 2017 sacks (and 20% of his career sack total) in one game against overwhelmed Cowboys backup Chaz Green.

The two names that I keep coming back to are Aaron Lynch (49ers) and Jeremiah Attaochu (Chargers). Yes, Lynch has been suspended for substance abuse, struggled with his weight, and was reportedly in danger of being waived prior to last season. He’s also extremely young (he won’t turn 25 years old until Thursday) and ranked fifth in the league with 34 pass pressures as recently as 2015. Attaochu, a 25-year-old former second-round pick, also has youth on his side, and while he hasn’t quite flashed as much as Lynch, he’s also been buried on LA’s depth chart for much of his career.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Sheldon Richardson
  2. Dontari Poe
  3. Muhammad Wilkerson
  4. Star Lotulelei
  5. DaQuan Jones
  6. Beau Allen
  7. Denico Autry
  8. Justin Ellis
  9. Tom Johnson
  10. Bennie Logan
  11. Chris Baker
  12. Kyle Williams
  13. Dominique Easley
  14. Haloti Ngata
  15. Jay Bromley

Interior rushers are getting more respect in today’s NFL, but that still hasn’t translated to them being paid on the level of edge defenders — the 2018 franchise tag for defensive tackles, for example, is roughly $3MM cheaper than the tender for edge rushers. While the 2018 crop of interior defenders boasts some impressive top-end talent, none of the available players figure to earn a double-digit annual salary. Sheldon Richardson may have the best chance to do so, but Seattle determined he wasn’t worth a one-year cost of $13.939MM, so is any other club going to pay him $10MM per year? I’d guess he comes in closer to $9MM annually, which would still place him among the 25 highest-paid defensive tackles.

Dontari Poe will be an intriguing free agent case after setting for a one-year deal last offseason, but the most interesting battle among defensive tackles will take place Star Lotulelei and Muhammad Wilkerson, and I’m curious to see which player earns more on the open market. Both are former first-round picks, and it’s difficult to argue Wilkerson hasn’t been the more productive player — or, at least, reached higher highs — than Lotulelei. Wilkerson also won’t affect his next team’s compensatory pick formula given that he was released, but his off-field issues, which include a reported lack of effort and problems with coaches, could limit his appeal.

While Beau Allen and Denico Autry are potentially candidates to be overpaid based on their youth, there are bargains to be had at defensive tackle. Tom Johnson is 33 but he’s offered consistent pressure from the interior for years — his last contract was for three years and $7MM, so he shouldn’t cost much this time around. Haloti Ngata was injured in 2017 but plans to continue his career, and he can still stop the run. And Dominique Easley was outstanding as a 3-4 end in 2016 before missing last season with a torn ACL, meaning the former first-round pick could be a value play for any number of teams.Read more

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Graham, Giants

There’s no reason that the Eagles would re-open negotiations with Brandon Graham unless they are just looking to do a solid for him, though that could open a pandora’s box of future requests from other players, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Graham has outperformed his contract, but he still has two years to go on the deal and he has already made it clear that he will not be a summer holdout. In theory, the Eagles could shift some 2018 dollars into this year, but they’re already pretty tight against the cap. The Eagles could also guarantee some money that Graham was going to earn anyway, but that probably won’t do much to make him happy. At this point, Fitzgerald concludes that Graham’s best bet will be to crush it in 2017 and convince Philly’s front office to give him a lucrative extension next offseason that will allow him to retire with the Eagles.

Here’s more out of the NFC East:

  • The Giants are all-in on Paul Perkins after their lowball offer to LeGarrette Blount, ESPN.com’s Jordan Raanan writes. There was mutual interest between the Giants and Blount, but Raanan hears that the G-Men only came to the table with a minimum-salary offer. Ultimately, it seems that the Giants were only willing to add a power back if one would come to them on an exceptionally cheap deal. That didn’t materialize, so Perkins now projects as the starter with Orleans Darkwa and rookie Wayne Gallman as insurance. Shane Vereen, meanwhile, figues to be the passing-down back with Shaun Draughn as a potential failsafe in that facet of the game.
  • Redskins coach Jay Gruden believes that outside linebacker Junior Galette should be able to join the team by the end of July, as Nona Princiotti of The Washington Times writes. “He’s running and lifting, all that stuff right now,” Gruden said. “We’ll probably keep him out of the team stuff for OTAs but hopefully he’ll be full go at training camp.” Galette signed with the Redskins prior to the 2015 season but he has yet to play a down for D.C. The pass rusher tore his left Achilles tendon two summers ago and tore his right Achilles last year.
  • The signing of Blount will likely lead the Eagles to release Ryan Mathews.

Junior Galette Arrested

Redskins pass rusher Junior Galette was arrested Friday in Biloxi, Miss., on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to comply with police orders, reports WLOX. Galette’s attorney confirmed the arrest to Nick Underhill and Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Advocate, adding that his client had quickly bailed out, but he didn’t offer further details.

Junior Galette (vertical)

This isn’t the first time Galette, 29, has run afoul of the law during his NFL career. Galette was arrested and booked on one count of misdemeanor simple battery related to domestic violence back in January 2015, when he was a member of the Saints. Video of a man who appeared to be Galette striking a woman in 2013 then surfaced in June 2015, and though no charges were filed, the Saints released him a month later and absorbed serious cap penalties in the process.

After the Saints cut ties with Galette, he quickly caught on with Washington. However, he hasn’t played a down for the team yet on account of tearing his left Achilles tendon two summers ago and his right Achilles last year. The league also hit Galette with a two-game ban in 2015 stemming from his domestic incident from that year. The two-time double-digit sack artist will attempt to return to action next season, but it’s possible his latest arrest will lead to another suspension, further delaying his comeback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Charles, Treadwell, Colts, Galette

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • 2016 first-round pick Laquon Treadwell had an underwhelming rookie campaign, but Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is confident that the wideout can still be a productive player. “Laquon came in, and he had some durability issues through OTAs, and had some things on and off during camp,” Spielman told Brian Murphy of The Pioneer Press. “I know that he is maybe the hardest-working kid I’ve ever seen. He is so determined to be a good player, and he has the skill set to do it. But we were never able to get him on track. He is going to be a good player with us. I do believe that in my heart.” Treadwell finished his first season with one reception for 15 yards.
  • If running back Jamaal Charles is cut by the Chiefs, ESPN.com’s Tim McManus believes he’d be an intriguing fit for the Eagles. Ryan Mathews isn’t expected to be back with Philly next season, leaving Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood as the only experienced running backs on the roster. Charles presumably won’t land a huge contract, so McManus believes the Eagles would be smart to take a flyer on the veteran.
  • It wouldn’t be a smart idea for the Colts to pursue a top free agent tight end like Martellus Bennett, opines ESPN.com’s Mike Wells. The team already has plenty of depth at the position, and there are more impactful ways the front office can use their available cap space.
  • Outside linebacker Junior Galette‘s new deal with the Redskins is for one year and $800k ($775 base salary, $25k workout bonus), according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). The 28-year-old reportedly re-signed with the team back in late January.