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Report: Galette Had Big Problems in Saints Locker Room


When Saints coach Sean Payton told Junior Galette on Friday the embattled linebacker would be released less than a week before training camp, the move shocked many around the NFL, Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

It was an abrupt ending for the 27-year-old defensive captain, who signed a four-year, $41.5 million extension with the team last September.

Galette’s demise, however, began almost a year ago.

Multiple team sources said the Saints grew weary of Galette’s behavior soon after rewarding him with the new deal and spent virtually the entire offseason trying to sever ties. Saints officials went over various scenarios in the past six months to rid themselves of Galette, from seeking possible trade partners to his outright release, which would result in a massive salary cap hit.

According to sources, Galette’s attitude changed after he received the new contract in September.

A former Saints teammate said of Galette: “He stayed focused long enough to get paid, then the real Junior came out. Sad.”

Multiple sources said the atmosphere in the locker room was often sour. Galette and defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, who is no longer with the team, got into a fistfight before one of the Saints’ preseason games.

Galette insisted his relationship with Payton, whom he looks to as a father figure, was on solid ground.

Sources said, however, that had not been the case for quite some time.

Payton had always been irked by Galette’s loose lips to the media and via social media, but that was a minor issue until December.

Payton had always been irked by Galette’s loose lips to the media and via social media, but that was a minor issue until December.

Galette squarely put himself in Payton’s doghouse when he told the media that the team’s current players were better than the ones they replaced, causing former Saints players publicly to lambast him on social media.

They still hadn’t forgotten by Friday, as ex-Saints defensive end Bobby McCray posted a GIF directed to Vilma and Smith that said, “Now comes the part where we throw our heads back in laughter.”

“Karma came calling,” Vilma tweeted.

Former Saints Scott Shanle and Scott Fujita both reacted with tweets indicating laughter.

Galette said his proclamation wasn’t a slight to the former players. Instead, he was trying to pump up his own teammates with praise. A source said Saints coaches, Payton in particular, didn’t think Galette had done enough of note in his own career to be castigating his predecessors, some of whom helped the Saints win their only Super Bowl five years ago.

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