According to multiple reports the New Orleans Saints are releasing star pass rusher Junior Galette just one year after signing him to a massive $41.5 million contract extension. Galette, who was rumored to be on the trading block all winter, had been involved in a few off field incidents and also was injured at some point during the offseason. From a salary perspective this is a massive blow to the Saints, who are seemingly clearing the roster this year and beginning a new chapter for the team. They will carry over $17 million in dead money charges over the next two seasons for Galette.
Galette has earned $16 million in bonus money over the last two seasons. He was paid a $3.5 million signing bonus in 2014 and had a $12.5 million roster bonus converted to a prorated bonus this offseason. The Saints salary cap woes more or less required them to make that bonus conversion, which prorated the money over the life of the contract. Galette also has a $1.25 million salary that is guaranteed this season that the Saints will owe him if he doesn’t sign with another team. The rest of the money is lost to the team unless they can prove some extenuating circumstance that I cant imagine would hold up.
From a salary cap perspective the Saints will gain no cap room this year and his cap charge will remain the same $5.45 million as if he was on the team. In 2016 it is where the blow becomes crippling with $12.1 million in dead money being charged to the Saints salary cap.
Galette was scheduled to originally be a free agent in 2016, but the Saints made the decision to proactively extend him in 2014 in part because there was an outside chance he could earn the right to void his 2015 year. Had they kept him on his original contract he would have earned $2 million last season and been cut this year with just $900,000 in dead money charges and no cash, had he been released in March. Instead he will take home $18.7 million just for playing the 2014 season. This contract is just one of a series of contracts the Saints have seemingly grown to quickly regret s they continue to sort through their roster and prep for the future.