Turning down Redskins' offer left Junior Galette with 'pile of regret'

Chris Lingebach
September 04, 2018 - 7:18 pm

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent linebacker Junior Galette is humbled, after going an entire offseason unsigned, and says he's filled with regret from not accepting a $10 million offer from the Redskins in March.

"My agent and I thought we could get a lot more money on the open market, which I basically regret right now," Galette told Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan. "I should be in someone's facility right now. It was clearly a bad call."

The former Redskins linebacker says Washington offered him a two-year, $10 million incentive-based deal around the first day of the new league year in March.

"The guarantee was pretty low for the deal at the time," he explained. "They offered that. We counter-offered and then we took too long."

Galette says the Redskins turned around and made an offer to veteran linebacker Pernell McPhee, who signed a reported one-year, $1.8 million contract with Washington.

"They brought Pernell McPhee in, who's a lot cheaper and probably, I guess, around – I wouldn't say same type of player, but for the role that they need, I guess he could fit it," Galette said. "They signed that and it basically was kind of me now waiting, thinking that I had the Rams. I thought we had a deal with them, but that never panned out, so here we are. I'm at home now, regretting that I just should have took the Redskins' deal.

"But me, going into year seven or eight, I'm thinking I've never hit the open market, ever. And knowing that I didn't get a lot of playing time last year, I was bitter about that. Knowing that I felt like I deserved more playing time. But it is what it is right now. You can't do nothing about that. You just want to move forward and stay ready."

Galette self-reported on Twitter he'd been in contact with the Redskins as recently as August. When asked who reached out to whom, Galette said he contacted head coach Jay Gruden directly

"That's literally me reaching out to Jay," he said, "and telling him, like, 'Hey. You know, things didn't really work out. I wish I'd taken the deal that was on the table. That didn't work out for me and I'm trying to come back.' The last reply I got from him was, 'We've got five outside linebackers right now. We're gonna give you a call if something happens.' And I just said, 'Okay. Let's stay in touch. Keep grinding.'"

When told he was coming off refreshingly honest in the interview, Galette explained, "I'm 30 years old, so it's in my hands. People always told me protect yourself first. You know, what's on the table is yours. Nothing else. Everything else is just hope. I live by that motto, and that's the one time I didn't live by it and it's kind of biting me in the ass right now, and I just want to get back."

"It's making me actually more hungry, though," he said. "Because it shows that teams are like, 'Eh, we want to see more from you.' And it's dry on the open market. It's making more hungry to just come back and prove that I'm a top-tier edge player in this league."

Galette has said on Twitter he'd take the veteran's minimum salary to return to Washington. Asked if that offer still stands, Galette, with the utmost humility, joked, "Yeah. I feel like, you know, what offer do I have right now?"

"I'm not really in position to stand ground right now," he said. "I want to play football. People think that I was with the Redskins and was getting paid for two years; that did not happen. I wasn't getting paid them two years, you know what I'm saying? And when I came back, I was on a veteran minimum deal. So, technically speaking, I haven't seen a check in a while. I was hungry to hit up the open market and try to cash in, but like I said, it bit me in the ass. I just want to come back and prove that I'm as good as it gets."

After visiting with other teams and "seeing how it was" on the open market, Galette feels a Redskins return would be in his best interest right now. He assures that interest in returning is genuine.

"That's a fact," he said. "I just want to play, period. But I know being in D.C... obviously the familiarity and being close to a lot of other players on the team, and obviously being there for the past three years, and already knowing the scheme, I could just pick up a playbook and just already fit in. That would be obviously the smartest choice right now."

One of the more frustrating parts of Galette's offseason has been watching the Redskins drastically improve their defensive depth.

"That's more on top of the pile of regret that I have," he said. "Like, damn. They've got this Payne – he's a beast."

Galette looked to D.J. Swearinger, who he said is "going to be a monster again" in his second season under the same defensive scheme. He further noted the tough cuts Washington's made as a sign of improved depth.

"The team is so good that they released Anthony Lanier, who I feel is a rising star in this league," he said. "He had five sacks in about seven games last year. People don't talk about that. That's how much depth they have on the D-line."

Asked if the Redskins would be a playoff-caliber team by signing him, Galette brought even more honesty.

"I think it's a playoff caliber team without me," he said. "Right now it's a playoff caliber team. I feel like they're pretty neutral at the quarterback position. Obviously with Kirk, and Alex replacing Kirk, they didn't really lose anything there. And I feel like Adrian Peterson's got a lot left in the tank."

Still, Galette knows he can take his former team to the next level.

"They're a playoff team without me," he said. "With me, they're a Super Bowl team."

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