Former Saints linebacker Junior Galette claims that cutting him was the biggest mistake the team ever made. Signing him to a new contract last year may have been a bigger mistake. And renegotiating the deal in March may have compounded it.
Per a source with knowledge of the contract, the Saints gave Galette $3.5 million to sign last September, along with a $750,000 salary for 2014.
Then came the time to make a decision, in March. With a $12.5 million roster bonus due on the third day of the league year and a looming cap number of $15.45 million, the Saints converted the payment to a signing bonus instead of cutting or trading Galette. He also has a fully-guaranteed base salary of $1.25 million for 2015.
At the time, he’d been arrested for battery in January, but the charges had been dropped in late February. Since then, however, a disturbing video has emerged of Galette in a 2013 beach brawl. The images include Galette hitting a woman in the face with a belt.
The Saints have committed a total of $18 million to Galette since September. With Galette not suspended and with Galette not retiring, it will be difficult if not impossible to recoup any of the money. The only hope would be to gain credit for the 2015 base salary if Galette signs with someone else.
As it currently stands, the Saints will carry a cap charge of $5.45 million for Galette in 2015. Next year, a total of $12.1 million in dead money hits the cap in 2016.
Those figures say plenty about had quickly the team’s position on Galette changed. It also shows that the Saints likely never will regret cutting him as much as they regret paying him. Twice.