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Galette addition will shuffle the Redskins’ OLB depth chart—but when?


Galette addition will shuffle the Redskins’ OLB depth chart—but when?

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 “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. 

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These hidden factors could make Brandon Scherff less interested in an extension with the Redskins

These hidden factors could make Brandon Scherff less interested in an extension with the Redskins

In Brandon Scherff, the Redskins have a 27-year-old guard who has delivered on his first-round status, a lineman who has become one of the best in the league at his position and should have many more years of production and defender-mauling left.

Therefore, it's in the Redskins' best interest to extend Scherff this offseason, and the veteran confirmed on Monday there have been talks about getting that done

But during a discussion on the Redskins Talk podcast, J.I. Halsell, a salary cap expert and former agent, laid out something that could force those negotiations to stall.

"There are some things you have to take into consideration because 2020 is the final year of the collective bargaining agreement, so there are some things you have to work around when structuring the deal," Halsell said.

Not only is that deadline approaching, but another one is, too. In 2021 and 2022, the NFL's TV deals with Monday Night Football, FOX, CBS and NBC expire as well.

So, there's a very real possibility the league's salary cap could look much, much different in a few seasons. And that, according to Halsell, may make Scherff much less willing to accept an extension now.

"If you're Brandon Scherff, in 2021, with a new collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap might be $250 million or something crazy like that, with all the new revenue coming into the league," he explained. "And so why would I take a deal today and preclude myself of taking advantage of a very lucrative and larger revenue pie?"

Essentially, it comes down to whether Scherff wants to take a present risk that could pay off down the line (kind of like how Kirk Cousins did a few years back with the Burgundy and Gold). He could probably lock something in over the next few months — Halsell's projection was an agreement for five years, including $45 million guaranteed and a $14.5 million average per year — or step away from talks now and try to cash in later.

Haslell told Redskins Talk he'd probably advise the lineman to take the second route.

"You would say, 'Look, you're a former first-round pick. You've made a decent amount of money in your career thus far,'" he said. "You have the financial wherewithal to not take the bird in hand today that may not be as lucrative as what is out there in 2021. So, bet on yourself and play out the last year of your rookie deal, force them to tag you in 2020 and then see what this new NFL salary cap world looks like in 2021."

Now, who knows truly how much these factors will play into Scherff's back-and-forth with the 'Skins. Nevertheless, you can see why the Pro Bowler's next contract may not be as much of a no-brainer as previously thought.

"If the kid is willing to bet on himself," Haslell said, "then it could be very lucrative on the back end."


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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

Bruce Allen identified getting a contract extension done for Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff as one of the Redskins biggest priorities of the 2019 offseason. To this point, however, nothing has happened. 

That doesn't seem to have Scherff concerned. 

"We've been talking, but I'm not really worried about that," he said after OTAs on Monday. "I'm here for another year, so that's all I'm worried about right now. Everything will take care of itself."

Scherff, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has played at an elite level since his rookie season. He's made two Pro Bowl teams in four years, and until last year, had been remarkably durable. 

In 2018, Scherff's season started very strong. 'Skins coach Jay Gruden described the former Iowa Hawkeye as the best pulling guard in the NFL and it was well-earned praise. Then, in a Week 8 loss, Scherff went down with a torn pectoral muscle. His season was over. 

At OTAs, however, Scherff was a full participant with no brace or apparent encumbrances from the injury. 

"I'm feeling really good, just taking it slow and making sure I'm 100 percent," he said. 

Expect the free agent market to be quite bullish. Once a lesser-paid position than tackle, guards have recently started pulling in significant cash. Zach Martin's recent contract extension in Dallas pays him more than $14 million per season, and Jacksonville is paying Andrew Norwell more than $13 million this year. 

For Scherff, expect top of the market money. He has the talent, pedigree and ability that if Washington won't pay in the neighborhood of Martin and Norwell, he can wait for free agency.