Russell: Waiting game with Junior Galette could sack Redskins' off-season

Whether the Redskins realize or not, they need pass rusher Junior Galette more than the other way.

Junior Galette is still a free-agent, meaning he’s free to take his sacking skills to another team while the Washington Redskins appear in no rush. The question is why.

The Redskins haven't made a big splash in the league’s New Year. One division rival, the New York Giants, spent mega dollars quickly. The Philadelphia Eagles took care of their own while unloading some of former coach Chip Kelly's additions and tacking on key help on both sides of the ball. As for the Cowboys, nobody knows what they’re doing which has some in Texas perplexed. 

On this end, it’s the Redskins responsible and possibly frugal approach that has me worried. 

Every day that goes by represents a wasted opportunity for the Redskins to take a big step forward.

Every day that goes by without agreeing to a deal with Galette puts Washington closer to making a huge mistake. Even if they make winning signings elsewhere in free agency, the off-season would be a loss if the pass rusher doesn't return.

[UPDATE -- Redskins, Galette reportedly agree on 1-year deal]

Junior Galette was with the Redskins last year, but he really wasn’t. The former member of the New Orleans Saints never even played in one preseason game because of a blown Achilles. The training camp injury came just a few weeks after signing a one-year, veteran minimum discount deal on a mutual leap of faith contract.

That was last year when a pending legal situation and likely multi-game suspension by the NFL were in play. Last year, Galette also had a guaranteed pay-out from the Saints who got tired of his ways and abruptly cut ties.

Now, Galette is an unpaid free agent. He made it clear after last season that he wants to stay in Ashburn. He's reportedly seeking a one-year, prove-it-again situation. He also made it clear that he won’t play for the veteran minimum. Why should he?

Even though last year didn’t work out the way he or the Redskins wanted, Galette gave Washington a bonus of sorts, when he agreed to give the organization a right-of-first-refusal mechanism on his 2016 contract.

The team reportedly wants a multi-year deal to take Galette off the market for not only 2016 but perhaps 2017 and beyond.

I wouldn't mention the idea of Washington possibly making a big mistake if I absolutely did not believe it to be 100% true. If they let Galette go without matching an offer from another team, that's exactly what they'll do.

The Redskins are also making a mistake if they don’t make a deal for just this one year and pay Galette a fair, reasonable market value contract.

They don’t just kind of need him. They desperately do.

As Galette proved last year, you can’t count on health for anyone. Football is a brutal game. The minute you think you have enough at one position they bring out the cart.

I don’t want to hear about the Redskins already having Ryan KerriganPreston Smith and Trent Murphy. While true, what happens if Kerrigan or Smith suffer their own season-ending injury? Here's what: The pass rush takes a hit. Even if they all avoid aches and pains, having deep and talented pass rush options is how you win championships. For a reminder, go back and watch the Denver Broncos run to the Super Bowl title.

Anybody remember how the Seahawks won their Super Bowl in early 2014? Scot McCloughan was a part of that championship. I think he remembers what the main reason for that ring he has was.

Galette, who turns 28 on March 27, had 22 sacks in his last 32 games with New Orleans and 31.5 sacks for his career even though he often played in situational roles.

While many members of the media and countless millions of fans continue to spread propaganda claiming that a great quarterback and great coaching is the only way you can win, they often forget keeping a team off the scoreboard matters most.

Having a great pass rush disrupts everything. That’s what Galette offers the Redskins, if they retain him.

They should. They need to. 

Coming off the injury, it's unclear if Galette can duplicate those previous numbers. My sense: He strikes me as a guy hell bent on revenge. I would very much like that revenge to be executed in burgundy and gold.

Realize that the Redskins need Galette more than he needs them. He can play in either 3-4 or 4-3 schemes. With Buffalo, he would reunite with his former defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan. Dallas needs pass rush help seeing as Greg Hardy is likely gone. 

You want Galette terrorizing Kirk Cousins and Trent Williams, while wearing a freaking star on his helmet? Good luck and if you are in that line of thinking – go have your head examined. That’s a nightmare.

As for possible terms and based on comparable contracts, Galette could probably command a one-year contract in the $7-9 million range with potential roster or other bonuses factored in. I’m not an agent. I’m trying to use common sense which doesn’t always exist in football.

As of late Monday night, the Redskins unofficially have more than $19 million in salary cap space, according to the NFLPA. Washington has others moves to make, but there is still plenty of money for Galette.

As for possible terms and based on some comparables, Galette might be trying  to secure a one-year deal in the $6-8 million range with incentives and perhaps other bonuses that could take the deal higher. One pretty fair comparable contract is Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants. He has more sacks in his career than Galette does but he's played in more games. "JPP" also is coming off a major injury, like Galette, but his might be more debilitating because a pass rusher depends on his hands. 

JPP and Galette would play different roles for their respective teams but it is a more than fair comparison. JPP received a reported one-year, $10 million dollar deal with a cap hit of $9.4 million broken down into guaranteed base salary and signing bonus. 

The situation that Galette is still fighting is that teams are still likely leary of what type of person he is. That might be unfair, but it is reality. 

The question for the Redskins becomes is do they want to save it for a rainy day or let Galette rain down on opposing quarterbacks?

You know where I stand. 

Chris Russell is a senior writer for Breaking Burgundy, longtime reporter on the Redskins beat and radio host for 1067 The Fan. Follow Chris on Twitter @russellmania621.

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