Yesterday, the Washington Redskins locked up one of their best players for the long haul, as they wisely signed the quietly dominant Ryan Kerrigan to a five-year, $57.5 million extension. Kerrigan has been one of the most underrated 3-4 outside linebackers in the game over the last couple of seasons, but Brian Orakpo‘s continued battles with injuries allowed Kerrigan to sap up some more national attention. The 26-year-old Purdue product had 13.5 sacks and 64 tackles as a well-rounded playmaker who consistently disrupts opposing passing attacks while also finishing off plenty of plays of his own.
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It’s been an offseason of stocking up on defensive line talent for the Redskins, as they added Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton as big-name starters to help 2014 offseason signing Jason Hatcher out. Throw in the selection of Preston Smith in the second round of the draft and the continued development of second-year pro Trent Murphy, and you have a Redskins defensive line and outside linebacker set-up that should take plenty of pressure off of a secondary that still has question marks despite the key signing of corneback Chris Culliver.
Yet even after all of the investments this team has made up front (though Knighton did come at a massive discount and will prove to be one of the steals of the offseason), the Redskins are still hungry to infuse their front seven with even more explosive talent.
Yesterday, the NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported that the Redskins will bring in former New Orleans Saints star edge rusher Junior Galette for a visit, adding that the two-time, double-digit sack OLB will meet with team officials and undergo a physical.
Despite tweeting that he has interest from an NFC South team, Galette’s only known suitor to this point is the Redskins, and they seem to be more serious than they should be about signing him to a deal. Galette has undeniable talent as a player with 22 sacks in the past two seasons, and he was unstoppable when at his best last season as the star of a disappointing Saints defense.
However, Galette is easily one of the biggest headcases in the NFL right now, as he causes trouble both in the locker room and off of the field. A source told ESPN NFL Nation’s Mike Triplett that Galette didn’t take his captaincy seriously, and evidence of that can be seen in his crazy barrage of tweets that have since been deleted (Google it if you are curious, but don’t do it at work) and the fact that he got into a fight with a teammate before an actual game.
Galette’s unwillingness to listen, his inability to work with teammates, and his serious attitude problems probably make teams most wary of him, but we all know that he’s done even worse things.
Basically, everybody hates this guy. I mean, it’s a red flag enough that the Saints finally released him, because, well, it should have happened much earlier. But it didn’t happen earlier, because he was their best player on defense last year, and their defense stunk. Their GM is on the hot seat (Sean Payton might be, too), so that probably led to hesitancy on their part to cut him. Oh, and they also don’t have a guy like Kerrigan at outside linebacker.
So if the Saints were so fed up with Galette that they were willing to release him outright and are getting criticized for not releasing him sooner, why do the Washington Redskins want this idiot? His NSFW Twitter rant here makes him look like an outright lunatic, and if he’s willing to talk about his past employers like that, then he’ll undermine your locker room and coaching staff, too. This guy is clueless, he doesn’t care, and he’ll always be a big issue. Whether it’s beating women, beating up teammates, or making himself like like a fool, Galette’s act is something teams shouldn’t tolerate.
But we know teams will try to tolerate it, simply because he’s an excellent player at an extremely valuable position. Junior Galette is also 27, so he’s a playmaker in the prime of his career.Dec 20, 2014; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) celebrates after Philadelphia Eagles kicker Cody Parkey (1) misses a field goal in the third quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
The problem is that the only teams that should take a gamble on him are teams that desperately need pass rushing help and have a reputation for being good at working with problem players. The Redskins, who already are a P.R. nightmare because of their name and owner, don’t fit into the second category, but the real reason why they are crazy for seriously considering Galette is because they don’t fit the former category.
Galette will be dirt cheap and should only be able to take a one-year deal with no guarantees, so money isn’t an issue here. The issue is that the Redskins are considering adding a player who kills morale (look at the Saints collapse last year, because that knucklehead was most likely responsible for a good deal of that, particularly because the team “cleaned house” in the offseason in an effort to boost team chemistry) and doesn’t fill a pressing need.
See, the Redskins are fine at outside linebacker. Smith and Murphy aren’t known commodities, but I think the Redskins need to see what they have in these two young edge rushers. After all, the took Smith at 38th overall, and because most people in the draft community view the productive Mississippi State product as one of the best sleepers in the class, it only re-enforces the idea that he has the potential to make an immediate impact.Oct 27, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Washington Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy (93) celebrates recovering a fumble in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
As we all know, the Redskins have an elite edge rusher in Kerrigan who does everything, so they can certainly work with a Smith/Murphy battle on the other side. Chances are that one of those two will fare out well, and it’s not like the Redskins will make-or-break the playoffs because of the gap between Galette and Smith/Murphy. In fact, since this team has been subject to QB/owner-coach in-fighting on two separate occasions, why would you want to bring in the ultimate boat-rocker? If Sean Payton can’t deal with you, then most people probably can’t.
Both Murphy and Smith are recent second-round picks, so I just don’t see the need to make an upgrade across from a guy who was indeed worth a $57.5 million contract. The Redskins interest in Galette seems ridiculous to me, and a team with an actual need and a strong organization should be the landing spot for him, as opposed to a team that was last in their division and has fully legit OLBs on the roster already.
Murphy and Smith were two of the most explosive players at the OLB position in their classes, with Smith testing well in nearly all aspects. The Redskins don’t need Galette, because he won’t take them to the top, whereas he could prove to be an anchor around their ankle.