By Chris Lingebach

Soon-to-be free agent Junior Galette would prefer to return to the Redskins, but he can’t sign a contract that hasn’t been offered.

“I haven’t spoken to them personally,” Galette told 106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier and Craig Hoffman. “But speaking to my agent, Drew Rosenhaus, I think the bottom line was that he basically said they’re pretty much gonna let me test free agency, because I’m pretty sure that if it was the other way around, they would have offered me a deal.”

“And nothing has been offered,” he said, “so there’s nothing else left for me to believe but they want me to test free agency. I’m really thankful. I think it’s a great organization on the come-up. I feel like they made a strong move in getting a quarterback in Alex Smith, and getting somebody at that position that’s just definite, having someone stable there as opposed to just the going back and forth.”

Galette believes the organization is heading in the right direction: “I want to be here. But like I said, it’s not up to me.”

Asked if Washington is his first choice in free agency, Galette said, “Of course it’s the first choice. I mean, this team picked me up when the NFL and a lot of teams were concerned.”

“I was on a $48 million contract and saw a year of that,” he said. “So obviously teams were a little bit concerned that, why would someone release a player that was producing and also a captain at the time? So they had some character concerns and the Redskins picked me up.

“They were one of about four teams to call me when I got released from the Saints. I came here on a visit and met with Scot McCloughan and I really just liked him. He looked me right in the eye and told me who he was and I just felt comfortable. Doug Williams made me feel real comfortable, and they really just kind of put their back on the line out for me, I feel like, as far as my career, with taking the chance, not only the first time with my Achilles’, but the second time I tore it. So I’m real grateful for the opportunity, man. And it was definitely an interesting ride that I wasn’t expecting, but hey, man, I’m thankful. I’m blessed. I learned a lot through this journey and I’m just excited to see what the next chapter holds.”

“I’ve never been a free agent,” Galette said. “Like, I’ve never actually been a literal, like, unrestricted free agent, so I think that’s really big for me going into this free agency healthy, with people probably having concerns of me being out the past two years after having such a promising career. I think I showed enough on tape, more than enough, to show that I’m still elite at my position and just need more opportunities.”

Galette lauded Washington’s trade for Alex Smith — “a guy who’s very efficient” — calling it a sign of an organization that “knows what it’s doing.”

“He’s not going to turn the ball over more than six or seven times a year, if you look at his numbers,” Galette said of Smith. “So with that just being said, you’ve got a guy to come in and give you 25 touchdowns and six or seven interceptions. Your probability of winning just goes up. I mean, it’s less turnovers. I’m not saying that Alex Smith is a better quarterback than Kirk Cousins. I’m actually saying that just for the fit, schematically, I feel like where this team is going. And plus, they have a lot more money to spend on other guys.”

“Obviously this organization knows what it’s doing,” he said. “I just feel like they just kind of do it on their pace.”

“Like I said, I believe in Doug Williams and he definitely knows what he’s doing,” he added. “You just have to wait and kind of see. Free agency’s not a thing, like, you know, I see a lot of fans on my social media, like, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta stick with the Redskins. Go sign your deal.’ I’m like, ‘Dude. There’s no offer on the table.’ Like, I can’t just pick up a pen. It doesn’t work like that.”

Asked if he would want Su’a Cravens, who has officially applied for reinstatement, back on the Redskins, Galette didn’t have to think long.

“The NFL is a brotherhood,” he said. “You’ve got about 1,700 total players in this league. It’s a fraternity. You’re literally a one-percenter. Everybody has their life struggles. You don’t know who’s going through what. You just don’t know. The guy could be right next to you. You just never know every day what he’s going through. Who knows?”

“What I’ve seen from Su’a — his rookie year — I feel like what everyone else saw from him was this guy has potential to be a really good player in the NFL,” he said. “That’s all I’ve seen from him so far from the tape, so that’s what I’m gonna believe. This guy’s gonna be a terrific player. The kid came into the league at 20 years old.”

“I see a lot of people bashing this guy, like, ‘Oh, he’s mentally weak.’ The kid, I don’t know what his injury is. I think he went through some concussions, but obviously you know that that’s not something that’s to be played with,” he said. “We’re talking about our livelihood here. And then on top of the things I assume that he was going through besides the injury, it can be really stressful, man, and you really need a strong circle around you.

“So of course, if I’m in the locker room, I’m gonna gather around him and just always be supportive, and always rally around him. Whenever I feel like anybody’s down, that’s what I do with anyone is just try to encourage them, because we spend so much time with each other. We spend more time with each other than we do with our families most of the time, so we really have to be a brotherhood and pick each other up.”

“When one guy is hurting,” he said, “we really have to be there for him, because you just never know what a guy’s going through. I feel like this guy can be a really good football player and have a strong career, so more power to him.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter

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