Skins add LB Galette to pass rush, despite off-field issues
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Whatever Junior Galette has been accused of away from football, and whatever punishment might come from an NFL investigation, Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden wanted to sign the outside linebacker to help the team's pass rush.
Less than a week after being released by the New Orleans Saints because of off-field problems, Galette agreed Friday to a one-year contract with the Redskins that agent Alvin Keels wrote on Twitter is for the league minimum - $745,000 for a player entering his sixth season.
''Obviously, I've made some mistakes. And we all make mistakes,'' Galette said. ''But it's what you do after that.''
Galette was arrested in January after an alleged domestic dispute. Charges were dropped, but the episode remains under review by the league. The NFL also is reviewing a video that shows a man resembling Galette in a fight on a beach.
Asked about the status of the NFL's review, Galette responded: ''I have no idea. It's not something I can control. I'm worried about what I can control - and that's getting better every day on the field and just being a better person every day.''
On the possibility of a suspension, Gruden said: ''There's a concern there. We'll have to wait and see. ... But right now we signed a very good football player who we think is going to help us.''
Gruden, who referred to Galette's ''checkered past, so to speak,'' didn't ask Galette's coach with the Saints, Sean Payton - or others around the league - about the player.
''I like to draw my own conclusions about people. It's just the way I am. I don't like to predetermine anything based on where he's been or what he's done,'' Gruden said.
''My job is to watch him on tape and look at him as a football player and then get a chance to talk to him and find out a little bit about his past and what he went through,'' said Gruden, who along with general manager Scot McCloughan and team president Bruce Allen met with Galette on Thursday. ''We came up with a group effort to give him an opportunity here.''
McCloughan was not made available to reporters Friday.
The Redskins also learned that cornerback Bashaud Breeland was suspended for one regular-season game by the NFL for violating its substance-abuse policy. Breeland was cited for misdemeanor possession of marijuana the night before the Redskins broke training camp in August 2014. A couple of hours after his punishment was announced Friday, Breeland was taken off the practice field on a cart with an injury; it wasn't immediately clear how badly he was hurt.
The 6-foot-2, 258-pound Galette had 22 sacks the past two seasons for the Saints. He could provide a pass-rushing complement to outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, stepping into a role left vacant by Brian Orakpo's departure via free agency.
During practice Friday, Galette did individual drills on a side field. He had a recent chest muscle injury that Gruden said was checked during an MRI exam Thursday.
In 2014, Galette was a Saints defensive captain and was given a $41.5 million, four-year contract extension. His troubles include getting kicked out of college at Temple when a relative staying with him was caught with a stolen laptop.
The Saints cut the 27-year-old Galette on Monday.
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall, a pal of Galette's who shares his agent, said the signing ''takes us from good to great. With anything comes a little bit of risk. So I'm not coming in here saying he's going to be a model citizen, but I think we've got enough great guys in that locker room to help show him the way. I come from a not-so-great past myself, so I'm always a little sympathetic.''
Hall and other Redskins lobbied Galette to sign with Washington after bumping into him at the players' hotel Thursday night.
''I'm just thankful to be with such a functional organization,'' Galette said. ''It's not about the money right now. It's about the relationship I can have with the teammates.''
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