Josh Norman is no longer a free agent. The all-pro cornerback did not stay on the open market long as the Washington Redskins swooped in and signed him to a monster five-year $75 million contract per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Norman is now the highest paid cornerback in all of football and his deal includes a whopping $50 million in guaranteed money. This deal is a win for both sides as Norman got what he was after, a position leading deal, and the Redskins got one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL to help shore up their secondary which allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game in 2015.
Up to ten teams had apparently been in touch with Norman's agent but the Redskins pursued him aggressively and Norman did not leave their facility before signing his deal. General Manager Scott McCloughan has certainly made a splash with this signing and the move immediately improves his team as well as eliminating a draft need.
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Norman will form a formidable partnership across from third-year pro Bashaud Breeland who had a productive season last year with 16 passes defended and two picks. It will be interesting to see if Norman can be as effective in a new system but he certainly has the talent to be.
The Redskins can now address other holes on their roster in the draft and if they can add a starting safety to pair with Deangelo Hall they will suddenly have transformed their secondary, a major team weakness, into a real strength.
The move also means the rivalry between Norman and Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr will be renewed, with the teams playing in the same division we can now look forward to that battle twice a year. As well as facing the stern test of Beckham, Norman will come up against top receivers early in the year in Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant.
Washington now has some cap money to move around to get them back under the limit but this move is certainly one that will be worth making going forward.