RICHMOND—When the Redskins arrived in Richmond on Wednesday there was no inkling that they were going to add a player who had double digit sack totals in each of the last two seasons. The news was about Ryan Kerrigan’s extension. But after that was done, they set their sights in Junior Galette, who was dumped by the Saints about a week earlier.
“We did a lot, a lot of research on him, as we do with everybody,” McCloughan told Redskins.com. “But he’s got a couple things still pending out there so we had to really look into it, and we did. … We all got together and asked, ‘Honest opinion, what do you guys think?’ and we all had a thumbs up.”
With the thumbs up from the brass, they landed Galette on Friday. But before we dive into what this does to the depth chart, what about those “couple of things still pending out there”?
McCloughan likely was referring to a possible suspension of Galette following domestic violence charges against him in January. The charges were dropped but that doesn’t men that the NFL will not act on the incident. The matter is under investigation. As we saw with the suspension of Bashaud Breeland coming down almost a year after the marijuana possession arrest that triggered it and the Tom Brady suspension, the league works on its own timetable.
The NFL guidelines carry a six game suspension for domestic violence charges. If such a penalty is handed down, the Redskins would proceed as through they never signed Galette. Ryan Kerrigan gets almost all of the snaps on the left side, while occasionally sliding over to the right. Opposite Kerrigan it looks like Trent Murphy has an early edge over Preston Smith for the other starting OLB job. Trevardo Williams and Jackson Jeffcoat will compete for the other backup job.
Then Galette will be back for the final 10 games of the season, hungry to earn a solid contract for 2016 and to show that the Saints made a big mistake by letting him go. Even if Galette does have to serve a suspension beginning at the start of the season, he still should be back in plenty of time for the Redskins’ game against New Orleans in Week 10.
If Galette is around in Week 1, it is likely that Williams and Jeffcoat will both be gone. He may not start but he will take snaps away from Smith and Murphy. Perhaps Joe Barry can find a way to use all four of his outside linebackers in obvious passing situations, perhaps with one or more of them lining up in a three-point stance along the line.
It’s a good problem for Barry to have. Galette and the Redskins hope that Barry has those choices to make starting in Week 1 and not starting in Week 7.