The Carolina Panthers shocked the football world on Wednesday when the team rescinded the franchise tag it applied to the All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman.
Immediately afterwards rumors swirled as to where he would end up.
It took just two days for the former Panther to find a new home. And that new home is located in the Nation’s Capital. Friday afternoon Norman signed a 5-year, $75 million deal with the Washington Redskins to become the latest pass-defending threat to put on the burgundy and gold.
For Norman, $51.1 million of the contract is guaranteed, which is the most ever for a cornerback. And his average salary per season of $15 million now makes him the highest-paid corner in the league, surpassing Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals.
For the Redskins, not only do they get a good defensive player who wants to win, but they begin to shore up a below-average secondary before the draft next week, and for the icing on the cake, they get a player who will have a little extra motivation anytime Washington and the New York Giants square off, which they do twice a season.
Few NFL fans can forget the on-the-field beef that took place last season between Norman and Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham caught a combined 16 passes for 221 yards against the Redskins defense last year.
Despite Washington having to face receivers such as Antonio Brown (Steelers), Dez Bryant (Cowboys), and Beckham all in the first three weeks of the regular season, the addition of Norman certainly helps the team’s chances of repeating as division champs.
So far this offseason, the Redskins front office has made a number of moves in attempts to stay atop the NFC East, and it appears Washington will continue to try to improve the defense in next week’s deft. The team is scheduled to have eight picks, however, it was reported earlier in the week that the Redskins could potentially trade one of its early-round picks in exchange for multiple picks if the offer is right.
An offense with all sorts of weapons and a healthy quarterback in Kirk Cousins, a head coach in Jay Gruden that has the support of the locker room behind him, and now a defense that includes names like Ryan Kerrigan and now Norman, it’s easy to see the Redskins should be contenders, at least inside the division, in 2016.
The NFL draft begins Thursday, April 28. Washington has the 21st pick in the first round.