Redskins Junior Galette looking to prove that hard work pays off
By Ian Cummings
Junior Galette hasn’t played a down in two years. Limited results over time will foster doubt in the minds of many. But Galette finally has a chance to prove the doubters wrong.
For a player who exudes confidence, Junior Galette hasn’t attracted much of it on his road to recovery.
Galette joined the Redskins almost exactly two years ago, signing a one-year deal following a second double-digit sack campaign with the Saints. That one-year deal was supposed to be a prove it deal. The Redskins were asking him to replicate his production in their scheme, and stay out of trouble off the field all the while.
They never got to see it happen. Two Achilles tears, 32 regular season games, and 729 days later, Galette has yet to play a down with the Washington Redskins. He signed a third one-year deal on February 1st of this year, but it’s not about the money anymore. It’s not about earning the big paycheck.
It’s about earning back the respect he once had.
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This one-year deal isn’t the Redskins asking him to prove his worth. Rather, it’s him asking the Redskins to let him prove he can still play. Battered, but not broken, Galette has slowly been working his way back to health, tirelessly and without pause.
Galette has an opportunity this year, not only to prove he can still play, but to prove he can stay. Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games of the season. Preston Smith has yet to perform at the level we saw in his rookie season, and 2017 second-rounder Ryan Anderson will have a learning curve. Ryan Kerrigan is the only edge rusher set in stone, and he’s on the weak side. Opposite him, Galette has a window of opportunity that’s far from closing.
At 29 years old, the clock is ticking on a resurgence for the embattled edge rusher. Two years without football will surely engrain a bit of rust in the veteran’s game. But reports in the opening days of training camp have been promising. While it’s too early to judge his progress, one thing is certain.
He appears to be well on his way.
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Will hard work pay off for Junior Galette? Well, it appears to be helping him out so far this year. Many haven’t believed in Galette as the time has moved on. Some did. But Galette is slowly moving past his injuries. And if his recovery continues as expected, he could be moving past opposing linemen at a much greater pace in 2017.