Junior Galette

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Numbers game, defensive performance holding back Junior Galette and Redskins reunion

Numbers game, defensive performance holding back Junior Galette and Redskins reunion

Pressuring the quarterback in the NFL does not need to come from the edge, and so far in Washington, it hasn't. 

Through three games, the Redskins starting outside linebackers Preston Smith and Ryan Kerrigan have yet to record a sack.

Still, the 'Skins defense has recorded seven sacks so far this season, good for middle of the pack in the league. 

Matt Ioannidis leads the way with three sacks in three games, while Jonathan Allen added two sacks in Week 3 against the Green Bay. Rookie Daron Payne also had a sack against the Packers and second-year man Ryan Anderson got a sack in the opener. 

The question remains, however: When will the exterior pressure emerge?

Kerrigan and Smith showed signs against Green Bay. Kerrigan got two holding calls against him and Smith got near Rodgers on a number of plays. 

Anderson also plays off the edge, it should be noted, and nearly grabbed Rodgers in Week 3, too. Pernell McPhee has logged good snaps for Washington but has been more helpful in the run game than getting to QBs so far. 

It's tough to worry too much about pass rush, though, as the Redskins defense ranks as the No. 2 unit in the NFL, both in yards allowed and points allowed. That's a wildly impressive turnaround from last season, even if it is quite early. 

Many fans want to know if Junior Galette could help on the edge, and the former Redskins pass rusher would love to come back to the team. 

Few athletes publicly own their mistakes, but Galette has been completely honest about the error he made this offseason when he turned down a contract from Washington. 

Check out any of his social media accounts, Twitter or Instagram, and Galette has explained repeatedly that through the bad advice of an agent, he expected a robust free agent market. He turned down a real offer from the Redskins in search of a more lucrative offer elsewhere, and it never came. 

The end result is Galette still being available as a free agent

So, does he make sense for Washington? The answer isn't exactly simple. 

Galette can play, that's clear. 

Last season, Galette graded as one of the top pass rushers in the league according to Pro Football Focus. He's got undeniable speed off the edge. 

He's had workouts with other NFL teams but is yet to sign as the NFL calendar turns to Week 4. 

In Washington, team sources have been clear that the organization intends to go forward with Kerrigan, Smith, Anderson and McPhee as their outside linebackers. 

If an injury occurs, then Galette might get a call, but that doesn't seem like it's going to happen otherwise. 

What's interesting, however, is the Redskins kept five outside linebackers on their roster for most of last season and 10 linebackers overall. This year, the Redskins are rolling with four OLBs and nine LBs overall. 

One thing that hurts Galette's roster chances is that the Redskins brass is electing to keep six wide receivers on the 53, unlike five most of last year. To create a roster spot for Galette, somebody else must come off, and right now, that doesn't seem imminent.

It's also important to note that Kerrigan has a long track record of productivity. 

Despite the slow start, it would be silly to count him out, and most coaches still expect another double-digit sack campaign from 91. 

For his part, Smith has been a streaky sack master. When he gets to the QB, he does so in bunches. 

Could Galette help? Sure.

But for the Redskins, the defense is already performing at a high level. The team certainly believes their two best pass rushers will make more of an impact going forward. And there isn't a roster spot. 

Things change quickly in the NFL, though. Stay tuned. 

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Is Junior Galette hinting at a possible return to the Redskins? Maybe

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USA TODAY Sports

Is Junior Galette hinting at a possible return to the Redskins? Maybe

Junior Galette played well for the Redskins in 2017, he just didn't play enough. 

Coming back from consecutive torn Achilles injuries that forced him to miss the 2015 and 2016 seasons, it made sense for Washington to ease Galette back into the pass rush rotation early in the season. It made sense, for a time.

Galette did not get more than 30 snaps until the second half of the season, and even then, his snap total slipped below 20 for consecutive NFC East games in November. 

The statistical production wasn't particularly impressive, Galette registered just three sacks in 16 games, but Pro Football Focus graded him a +16.2 on the season, landing in the Top 15 among 3-4 outside linebackers. 

When the season ended and his contract expired, the Redskins made an offer to keep Galette. The money wasn't enough and the two sides ended the negotiations. 

Now, just two weeks before the start of training camp, it's hard to say the outside linebacker spot couldn't use a boost. The 'Skins have stalwarts in Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, but after that come Pernell McPhee and Ryan Anderson. 

Washington moved quickly to sign McPhee after contract talks with Galette broke down. He's a veteran that has produced, when healthy, though he's fought injuries over the least few seasons in Chicago. Anderson, a second-round pick in 2017, showed zero in his rookie season. Could he make big strides in year two? Sure, but that might be a risky proposition. 

Which brings things all the way back to Galette.

In 2017, the Redskins went to camp deep at OLB. The team had Kerrigan, Smith, Galette, Trent Murphy and had just drafted Ryan Anderson. 

In 2018, the 'Skins have just Kerrigan, Smith, McPhee and Anderson. Certainly other OLBs are on the 90-man roster, but none seem like locks for the actual 53-man roster that will take the field Week 1 in Arizona. 

For months, it seemed Galette was done with Washington. He even hinted at retirement in social media posts. 

This week, however, that sentiment seems to be thawing. 

In another tweet, Galette said he would "pull up right now" if the Redskins made a "2/10" offer. The "2/10" in the tweet (caution graphic language) refers to a suggested contract offer of two years for $10 million.

Back in March when free agency opened, Galette made clear he wanted more money than the Redskins were offering. It's possible that offer was on the table, and maybe didn't look great then, but looks good now. Remember that the Redskins pulled their offer and 'Skins personnel VP Doug Williams told Galette that the team was going in a different direction. That direction was McPhee. 

A few months later, and with camp coming fast and the regular season just around the corner, maybe time can heal old wounds?

It seems unlikely.

Scot McCloughan signed Galette and stood by the pass rush specialist as he dealt with two lost seasons. McCloughan hasn't worked in Washington for more than a year now. 

Repeatedly this offseason, Washington's top brass stated their confidence in the 2018 squad. Williams, along with Bruce Allen and Doug Williams, expect this team to compete for the NFC East title this fall. Bringing Galette at this point back would run counter to that sentiment.  

Still, never say never. 

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Free agent, former Redskins pass-rusher Junior Galette considering retirement

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USA Today Sports Images

Free agent, former Redskins pass-rusher Junior Galette considering retirement

Free-agent Junior Galette has been offered deals with multiple teams this offseason, but the eight-year veteran pass-rusher hasn't signed anything because he's considering retirement as well. 

In an Instagram post Sunday, Galette — who has been with the Redskins since 2015 but only played in the 2017 season because of injuries — wrote that he's simply not sure if he wants to continue playing football. 

He said, on Instagram: "The real reason I haven’t signed is because I’ve contemplated retiring. I have 3 Deals Currently on the table and will Plan Accordingly. All my fans i promise this will be my Best I’m not saying nothing else God Bless All I’m BACK".

Galette signed with the Redskins in the 2015 offseason, but he missed both that season and the 2016 one because of multiple Achilles injuries. He played in all 16 Washington games in 2017 and finished the season with 20 total tackles and three sacks. 

Prior to signing with the Redskins, Galette was with the New Orleans Saints for the first five seasons of his career. In 2013 and 2014 — his best seasons, by far, stats wise — he combined for 87 total tackles and 22 sacks, plus two safeties.

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