Redskins release Josh Norman ahead of free agency, former Pro Bowl cornerback reacts
Norman's time in the nation's capital is over
Josh Norman must now find a new NFL home for the 2020 season. The former Pro Bowl cornerback is coming off of yet another disappointing season with the Washington Redskins, and the organization has seen enough to know they want to move on. With the hiring of Ron Rivera as head coach and the decision to jettison Bruce Allen, the waves of change have now pushed Norman out of the door as well.
There will be no reunion with his former Carolina Panthers head coach, as the Redskins officially released him on Friday. The decision to let the aging cornerback walk saves the Redskins upwards of $12.5 million toward their salary cap, and his lack of production justifies the move.
Norman reacted to the news on social media, seemingly unbothered.
Interestingly enough, this also marks the second time Rivera has released Norman in his NFL career, hinting at a bridge burned years prior in Charlotte. The first release came after a banner 2015 season from Norman, wherein he was named First-Team All-Pro and received his first Pro Bowl nod. Norman and the Panthers failed to agree on a longterm deal in contract talks that eventually turned quite sour before it was all said and done, forcing Rivera to wash his hands with the then-star cornerback.
Norman quickly landed with the Redskins on a five-year, $75 million that made him the highest-paid defensive back in NFL history at the time, and while he got off to a strong start in Washington, he was never able to match his Carolina production or play up to his historic contract.
His play has degraded over time to the point he's become much more of a liability on the field than an asset, as evidenced in how he allowed only 13 receiving touchdowns when targeted in his first six NFL seasons, but has seen that tally mushroom to 16 over the last two seasons as a Redskin, per Pro Football Focus. For a 32-year-old set to earn a base salary of $12 million in 2020, those numbers just won't do as Rivera looks to rebuild a team that's become the laughingstock of the league.
Norman will likely have a handful of suitors in NFL free agency but, unlike 2016, it's doubtful he'll command top dollar.
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