The Washington Redskins released Josh Norman on Friday, giving each side a fresh start after four years together. The move will free up $12.5 million toward next year’s salary cap for the Redskins, though it carries $3 million in dead money.
Norman arrived to the Redskins in 2016, signing a five-year, $75 million to become the highest-paid cornerback in football. His tenure was largely uneven as he was solid throughout his first few seasons, but faded as time went on. The Redskins benched him for the final six games in 2019.
Last year, former coach Jay Gruden said Norman’s play had not risen to superstar status the team expected when they signed him. Before joining the Redskins, Norman was an All-Pro with the Carolina Panthers and helped them reach the Super Bowl in 2015.
During Norman’s time with the Redskins, there was a consistent discussion of whether the coaching staff was using him correctly. He was asked to play different schemes than in Carolina, where the Panthers deployed a cover-2 zone.
Near the end of last season, Norman said he was still one of the league’s best cornerbacks.
“I don’t ‘believe’ anything,” Norman said. “I am. Sucks that I can’t prove it right now, but … you’ve got to play the cards you’re dealt. That’s what it is. I was dealt a hand right now and I’ve got to play it.”
Now, if he signs with another team, he’ll get a new chance to prove it.
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