NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It had to happen.
Junior Galette will cost the Saints a lot of money to play for another team the next two seasons. But even that steep cost wasn't worth the price of keeping him around.
Galette had become an off-the-field distraction and a locker room cancer. The move was bold, brash and correct.
Credit the Saints for stepping up and moving on, but let's not make the mistake of absolving the organization of any blame. They played a role in their current predicament. They didn't create the monster, but they did contribute to the cause.
It began when they signed him to that four-year, $41 million extension last offseason that now will cost them nearly $17.5 million over the next two seasons and hamper their salary cap in 2016.
The deal was completely unnecessary. Not because of some 20/20 hindsight, but because they simply didn't have to do it.
Many seem to forget, Galette had just signed a three-year, $9 million contract in the offseason of 2013. He was heading into year two of that deal. According to reports, the third year would have been voided had Galette reached an attainable 12-sack incentive. So the Saints jumped the gun and inked that extension.
The move was so un-mickey-Loomis-like. To put it in perspective, Loomis, being the ultra-patient negotiator that he is, waited until Drew Brees' and Jimmy Graham's contracts were up, franchise tagged them both, then went through arbitration before finally agreeing to a deal in mid-July.
In Galette's case it was total opposite. They signed him to a deal; then signed him to another one just one year later. Clearly, they felt like they were getting out in front of an issue and thought they could possibly get a bargain.
Instead, they got a mess.
Galette became a team captain and immediately showed how ill-equipped he was to handle that responsibility. He didn't perform well on the field and was even worse in the locker room. He proceeded to negatively sound off about previous Super Bowl winning defenses and then rampaged through the offseason with not one, not two, but three different instances. Those instances ranged from a domestic violence arrest (charges dropped), a weird video where he or someone in his entourage appeared to be calling out Sean Payton and another video of a beach brawl from 2013 that shows him, among other things, allegedly beating a woman with a belt. (By the way how ridiculous does Galette's attorney look now by actually trying to convince us that it wasn't him)
That's some kind of hat trick.
In a lot of ways Galette's situation embodied exactly what went wrong in 2014. He was someone the Saints entrusted to be a leader in the locker room! That should tell you just how badly the organization misread their roster.
The good news is 2014 is over and the Saints have realized their mistakes. They've vowed to not make the same ones in 2015.
By parting ways with Galette, they've officially admitted to and took care of their biggest error to date.
Now they can move on.