When talking to players in the Redskins’ locker room after practice today, many were hoping for the best regarding the injury to Junior Galette but they were clearly preparing for the worst.
The news has come and it isn’t good. Galette will be out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, according to CSN Mid-Atlantic anchor Chick Hernandez.
His first season in Washington is over before it even got started. The Redskins have lost a player who would have been a tremendous force off of the edge. Such players are rare; that is why they get big contracts like the five-year, $55.7 million contract the Redskins gave Ryan Kerrigan a few days before bringing in Galette, who had been released by the Saints over the summer. Galette posted 10 sacks in 2014; Kerrigan had 13.5. It was hoped that the pair would provide the team with a potent one-two punch off of the edge.
To be sure, the Redskins will not have a bare cupboard at the position without Galette. They invested their second-round draft picks in each of the past two years in outside linebackers Trent Murphy (2014) and Preston Smith (2015). While both have potential to become solid pass rushers, Galette is a finished product who would have provided instant impact.
With Galette out, the Redskins will suffer on the field but not in terms of the salary cap. He signed a one-year deal for the league veteran minimum of $745,000. The Redskins will be responsible for paying him and it will count against the cap but that is a relatively small fraction of the $153 million cap.
We will see what the future holds for Galette. He will become a free agent after the season but the Redskins do have the right to match any offer he gets. Since he is unlikely to be a hot commodity on the free agent market the chances are good that he will return if the Redskins want him to come back.
It’s hard to say that the Redskins will miss a player they never really had. He signed on July 31 and after rehabbing a pectoral muscle injury he was set to play in his first game in Baltimore on Saturday. But with his explosiveness and experience he had the potential to make the Redskins’ pass rush something special. That will have to wait until at least next year.
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins OLB Galette suffers serious injury, out for season