MONDAY, 3:52pm: After passing a physical earlier today, Galette has officially been released by the Saints, who also signed tight end Kevin Brock and guard Cole Manhart, waiving center Mike Brewster with an injury designation (Twitter link via Evan Woodbery of the New Orleans Times-Picayune).
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the team waited as long as possible to cut Galette in the hopes that the NFL would take action that would allow the Saints to potentially recoup some of the signing bonus money they owed him.
FRIDAY, 1:50pm: Galette must take – and pass – a physical with the Saints before he’s officially released, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, adding that the physical will likely happen this weekend.
1:24pm: In a surprising roster move, the Saints are releasing pass rusher Junior Galette before their training camp gets underway, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
While Galette has provided plenty of value to the Saints on the field over the last two years, recording back-to-back seasons of double-digit sacks, his off-field behavior cost him his job. The former undrafted free agent was arrested on a domestic charge in January, and a report last month indicated that a video has surfaced of a man who appeared to be Galette using force against a woman in a beach brawl.
With Galette making the wrong sort of headlines, and New Orleans’ roster undergoing a significant offseason overhaul, it came as no surprise when winterreports suggested head coach Sean Payton and the Saints wouldn’t have been opposed to moving on from the pass rusher if they could find a taker. However, given the off-field red flags, and the significant chunk of guaranteed money still owed to him, it was equally unsurprising that the Saints were ultimately forced to bite the bullet and simply cut him.
Galette, who turned 27 in March, just signed a lucrative four-year extension with the Saints last September, and has already received more than $17MM in salary and bonus money from the team since then. Having converted Galette’s $12.5MM roster bonus to a signing bonus earlier this year, New Orleans will now have to eat a tremendous amount of dead money to make the 27-year-old go away.
Based on contract information provided by Over the Cap, Galette’s $5.45MM cap hit for 2015 figures to remain unchanged, with the remainder of his prorated bonus money accelerating to the 2016 league year — based on my math, Galette will count for $12.1MM against New Orleans’ ’16 cap.
While Galette will hit the free agent market, that won’t stop the NFL from looking into his off-field behavior and potentially handing out a suspension, which will adversely affect his chances of landing with a new team. Depending on the language of Galette’s contract, I’d also expect the Saints to make an effort to get back some of the bonus money they’ve paid him over the last 12 months.
Galette’s odds of signing with a new team figure to be negatively impacted by his health as well — he’s said to be recovering from a pectoral injury, and won’t go under the knife to repair the damage.
We’ll round up Tuesday’s minor moves from around the NFL right here, including transactions by teams still in the playoffs as well as clubs looking ahead to next year:
The Lions have signed TE Ifeanyi Momah to a 2015 reserve/future contract, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (on Twitter).
The Chiefs signed former Seahawks tailback Spencer Ware, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (via Twitter).
Jets quarterback Matt Simms reworked his contract today to avoid becoming an exclusive rights free agent in 2015, according to a team release. The club also added kicker Andrew Furney and running back Daryl Richardson on reserve/futures deals, in addition to the six players whose reserve contracts we heard about yesterday.
Running back Terrance Cobb announced (via Twitter) that he has signed a futures deal with the Raiders. Cobb initially signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie in May, and was cut in the preseason.
The Bears may not have a head coach or GM, but they’re still adding players to their roster — Chicago signed defensive end Jamil Merrell to a reserve/futures contract, the team announced today (via Twitter).
Former Canisius College basketball player Chris Manhertz announced (via Instagram) that he has signed a contract with the Bills. According to Joe Buscaglia of WGR550 (via Twitter), the ex-hoopster projects as a tight end. The Bills have since confirmed the signing of Manhertz, and announced a deal for fullback Corey Knox as well.
Offensive tackle Justin Renfrow has been released from the Packers‘ practice squad, creating an opening on the unit, according to the team.
The Steelers have also made a change to their taxi squad, signing wide receiver Tim Benford and releasing cornerback Jordan Sullen, per Burt Lauten (via Twitter). The addition of Benford provides some insurance for the receiving corps, after the team cut wideout Justin Brown from its active roster today.
The Browns signed a pair of kickers, Travis Coons and Carey Spear, to reserve/futures contracts, the club announced today, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). The two kickers join seven other players who signed futures deals yesterday with Cleveland.
The Jaguars have signed offensive lineman Cody Booth, tight end Marcel Jensen, defensive back Peyton Thompson, and wide receiver Tony Washington to reserve/futures contracts, tweets Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. All four players spent time on the club’s practice squad this season.
Terry Pegula and Kim Pegula met with Buffalo reporters today at their introductory press conference as Bills owners, and prior to the presser, the team also sent out a statement from the Pegulas with the caption “THE BILLS ARE HERE TO STAY!” (Twitter link). In both the statement and the press conference, the Pegulas expressed excitement about being able to keep the franchise in Buffalo and about being able to contribute to the legacy established by the late Ralph Wilson.
Here’s more on the Bills and the Pegulas, as well as a couple other AFC East items:
Terry Pegula has assumed a CEO role for the Bills, meaning Russ Brandon is simply the team’s president now, tweets Mike Rodak of ESPN.com.
Pegula indicated at today’s presser that he hadn’t had a chance to consider the Bills‘ football operations yet, while Brandon expressed support for the job done by GM Doug Whaley and head coach Doug Marrone. According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News (Twitter link), both Whaley and Marrone are good bets to be around for the 2015 season unless the team totally falls apart this year, an observation echoed by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE.com wonders if the cap space being carried by the Patriots this season – and presumably into next year – is an insurance policy that could allow the team to consider trading Tom Brady. While Curran can envision New England dealing its franchise quarterback at some point, he doubts that it’s in the team’s plans quite yet.
Veteran interior offensive lineman Mike Brewster, who was waived by the Jaguars during preseason cutdowns to 53 players, worked out for the Jets today, tweets Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com.
Since Ace Sanders is headed for the reserve-suspended list, the team was able to keep guard Tyler Shatley – who was reported below as having been cut – on its 53-man roster, tweets Oehser.
FRIDAY, 4:01pm: In addition to confirming the cuts noted below, the Jaguars have announced a slew of additional roster moves. Via John Oehser of Jaguars.com, here’s the full list, which reduces the team’s active roster count to 57 players:
3:33pm: The Jaguars have started the process of reducing the number of players on their active roster from 75 to 53, as they look to finalize their regular-season roster in time for tomorrow’s deadline. Here are Jacksonville’s Friday cuts, with any additional moves added to the list throughout the day:
The Raidersannounced the signings of fourth-round picks Justin Ellis and Keith McGill, the sixth and seventh members of the team’s eight-man draft class to ink rookie contracts. Ellis is a 6-2, 334-pound nose tackle out of Louisiana Tech who profiles as a run stuffer, though he will have to improve his conditioning. McGill is a rare-sized, highly athletic, overaged, unrefined cornerback (6-3, 211) out of Utah whom the Raiders hope can develop into a coverman in the mold of the big, physical, rangy secondary defenders thriving and trendsetting in Seattle.
Here’s a handful more AFC news and notes:
Patriots big-ticket acquisition Darrelle Revis spoke with the local media for the first time, saying, “I’m on my career and my journey, and right now, I’m a New England Patriot. And that’s that.”Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post took notice of Revis’ word choice: “The words “right now” were telling, because logic — and the salary cap — dictates the $20 million team option for 2015 in Revis’ deal means this will be the All-Pro cornerback’s lone season in a Patriots uniform.”
One of Revis’ new teammates, receiver Danny Amendola, managed just 54 receptions for 633 yards (11.7 YPC) and two touchdowns in his first season in New England after signing a five-year $28.5MM ($10MM guaranteed) deal. He was affected by a groin injury that kept him out of four games and hampered him in others, but Amendola — who opted against off-season surgery — tells the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe that he’s 100 percent.
Despite making a run at Alex Mack, the Jaguars believe in third-year center Mike Brewster, who has 10 career starts under his belt, said ESPN’s Michael DiRocco in a chat: “They went after Mack because he is by far the best center in the game and they felt they could take a shot. But notice they didn’t go after any other centers in free agency and only drafted one in the sixth round [Luke Bowanko]. That means they felt confident Brewster could do the job and they didn’t view it as a need position.”