NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - When the Saints decided to part ways with Junior Galette, they made a statement that no matter how talented and productive you are, if you become a distraction or cancer in their locker room, your days of being in Black-and-Gold are done.
The team will soon make the official announcement that Galette has been released, but the Saints are already moving on from their former pass rushing specialist. Galette tallied 22 sacks over the past two seasons, a team-best; however, his off the field behavior made him expendable. Galette criticized former teammates, was arrested in January and had not shown much remorse for his actions. According to Nola.com's Katherine Terrell, Galette's dismissal raises more questions for the Black-and-Gold.
"It might be a bit of a struggle for the Saints this year without Galette" Terrell said. "Of course everyone is praising them now for getting rid of him and as far as the team chemistry perspective goes, it was probably the right move. He had just caused so much drama and such a headache for the Saints, they were just ready to move on, no matter what it did to the defensive line or the defense in general. Galette had his issues but he was still a very good player despite the fact that he struggled a lot in run support, he was a good pass rusher and he had double digit sacks for two years, now the Saints are going to have to find a replacement for that and that's not going to be easy. A lot of eyes are already going to rookie Hau'Oli Kikaha who is a pass rushing specialist who led the nation in sacks last year so that might be the option but you really don't know how a rookie is going to perform until he gets on the field. So basically the Saints are going to be flying blind until training camp. I think they just have to hope that somebody steps up and they made the right decision by parting ways with a troubled, but talented player."
Galette's production increased over his five seasons in New Orleans, all the way up to a career-best 12 sacks in 2013. His recent consistency was one of the reasons the franchise signed him to a four-year, 41.5 million dollar contract extension last fall, but he clearly failed to meet their requirements off the field.
The Saints report to training camp on Wednesday and will conduct their first practice on Thursday.