ORLANDO — The Washington Redskins have informed linebacker Junior Galette that they’re “going in another direction” at his position next season, Doug Williams, the team’s senior vice president for personnel, confirmed in an interview Sunday.
Williams characterized the conversation with Galette, who had hoped to be re-signed by the Redskins, as positive from both sides.
“I did tell him we were going in another direction, and he was very thankful,” Williams said in an interview at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, where NFL owners convened Sunday for their annual spring meeting. “He had two Achilles’ injuries, and we stuck by him. We gave him a chance, and he’s very appreciative of it. He told me, ‘Thank you. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know whether I’d still be here,’ so it was a good conversation.”
Galette, who turns 30 on Tuesday, was coming off the most production stretch of his five-year tenure in New Orleans, with back-to-back seasons of double-digit sacks, when he was abruptly cut by the Saints in July 2015 following questions about his off-field behavior.
The Redskins quickly signed him to bolster their pass rush, with then-general manager Scot McCloughan vouching for Galette’s character and commitment, but the fifth-year player tore an Achilles’ before Week 1. After a lengthy rehabilitation, he tore his other Achilles’ while preparing for the 2016 season.
Galette finally got on the field for the Redskins last season, coming off the bench in all 16 games to contribute 20 tackles, three sacks and two passes defended.
“We gave him three years, and we got one year out of Junior,” Williams said. “We were thankful for what Junior has done for us, and he was very grateful for what we did.”
Galette had made no secret of his desire to stay with the Redskins but said via social media that the terms had to be “fair.”
The Redskins’ pass rush is anchored by starting outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith. Team officials hope for a strong sophomore season from Ryan Anderson, a 2017 second-round pick. But they need more depth after letting Trent Murphy depart via free agency and opting not to re-sign Galette.
The Redskins have made an offer to outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, who was released by the Chicago Bears in late February. After visiting Redskins Park, McPhee visited the Atlanta Falcons and has not announced his decision.
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