One player more than just talked the talk about playing next season with the Redskins even though he doesn't have a contract and has never played a regular season game with Washington.
Another player, once the franchise's centerpiece, packed up his locker and exited Redskins Park possibly for the last time even though the team could keep him around next season for $16.5 million.
Starting early Monday morning, players arrived for a season-ending ritual earlier than desired. One day after their 35-18 playoff loss against the Green Bay Packers, the focus wasn't about the next opponent, but rather the next flight back home or some aspect of next season. Closeout day included a team meeeting, the gathering of personal belongings and one final session with the media before dispersing.
While linebacker Junior Galette passionately explained and showed his commitment to the organization that added him as a free agent this past summer despite troubles elsewhere, quarterback Robert Griffin III moved on without comment to reporters.
These players have no obvious connection other than the team that paid them this season. The extreme difference in their closeout day mood is what brings them together here.
Griffin was the prince of D.C. from the moment Washington selected him second overall in the 2012. His status grew legendary throughout a starry rookie season, captivating the fan base like no player in decades as he led the Redskins to the NFC East title.
That's what made Monday's scene utterly surreal, though a long-time coming.
The mobile QB suffered a serious knee injury in the playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks and the world was never the same. Love turned to loathing for some factions while others remain devoted to the cult of RGIII. The Redskins this season turned to another at quarterback. Griffin never played this season. With the team expected to keep Kirk Cousins, there's no chance they pick up Griffin's option for next season.
After much turmoil over his final three seasons in Washington, there was ultimately no chance he wanted to talk to those holding microphones and cameras.
Galette went the other way. Signed to a one-year deal in July after a controversial exit with the New Orleans Saints, Galette ended up missing the entire season after suffering an Achilles injury in August. Yet despite so little time with the team and none on the field during the season, the pass rusher proudly stated about next season, "I'm here. No doubt about it."
Galette, sitting at his locker, a dozen or so down from Griffin's now nearly empty stall, then showed he's not joking around about his commitment to the Redskins.
That's no rub on tattoo. As for his health, Galette classified his status at 70 percent, but said he'll be ready for Organized Team Activities (OTA) in March.
Ultimately, it's up to the Redskins on what happens next for both. They have the right of first refusal on Galette's services for next season and have a team option on Griffin. The one who has yet to play for the organization believes he's coming back. The one whose jersey sales trumped all NFL players in 2013 will be elsewhere for the 2016 season whether he wants to discuss the matter or not.
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