The Redskins lost Junior Galette for the season before he ever played so much as a preseason snap for them. He went down with a torn Achilles on Wednesday, just three days before he was set to take the field against the Ravens in Baltimore.
The loss of Galette hurts the Redskins in a number of ways, from the subtraction of his double-digit sack ability from the field to his enthusiastic presence on the practice field and in the locker room. But his absence doesn’t hurt the Redskins much financially.
Last month the Redskins signed Galette to a minimum-salary contract that was set to pay him $745,000 if he played this year. However, a clause in the contract called for a preseason split salary and that called for his salary to be reduced to $413,000 if he went on injured reserve during the preseason.
The $413,000 will count against the salary cap but it represents just about 0.28 percent of the $143 million cap so the team won’t feel much pain.
Galette won’t have to deal with financial troubles, either. The Saints paid him a $12.5 million bonus in the spring on top of the $4.35 million they paid Galette last year after signing him to a contract extension.
But the Redskins could decide to pay Galette his full salary despite the injury with the hope that they could buy some good will for their $332,000. Galette will be a free agent after the season and perhaps if the Redskins pay him his full salary, the gesture will be remembered when it comes time to hammer out a contract in 2016.
Regardless, the Redskins are very confident that Galette will play for them in 2016.
“No doubt,” GM Scot McCloughan said when asked if Galette would be back. “No doubt about it. The veterans that I respect on this team came to him in the training room and grabbed him. We had guys crying with him. That’s family. That’s football. That’s what we are. It’s cool.”
Coach Jay Gruden spoke with similar confidence.
“People really were growing to like Junior but we have to let them understand that we’re going to do everything we can to get Junior healthy and back,” he said. “He’s going to be a Redskin next year. We’re going to take care of him. He’s going to come back stronger than ever — that’s a talk we had to have.”
It will be interesting to see what the market for Galette will be next spring. Teams are willing to pay premium dollars for pass rushers, even ones with some problems in their pasts. The Redskins do have the right to match any offer Galette gets, but their budget could be limited by the five-year, $57.5 million extension given to Ryan Kerrigan.