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Josh Norman on his departure from Carolina: 'I got sideswiped'


Josh Norman on his departure from Carolina: 'I got sideswiped'

Josh Norman says he was “sideswiped” by the Panthers’ decision to rescind his franchise tag tender last week and that he was attracted to the Redskins because of the team's success last season.

“It came out of nowhere,” Norman said on CSN’s Redskins Nation shortly after signing his new contract Friday in Ashburn, Va. “It really did. I got sideswiped; I didn’t see it coming. And for my old teammates that I had, man, oh my gosh, I’m going to miss them dearly.”

Norman enjoyed a career year for the Super Bowl runners up in 2015, posting highs in passes defended (18), interceptions (4) and forced fumbles (3). He also returned two picks for touchdowns en route to Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors.

The Panthers, however, informed him Wednesday that they were rescinding the $14 million franchise tag because the team did not believe a long term deal was in reach. The move immediately made Norman a free agent, long after many teams had completed their shopping.

The Redskins—Bruce Allen, in particular—acted swiftly.   

“When that happened, it was crazy because Mr. Bruce, the [Team] President, hit me up right away with a jersey, No. 24,” Norman said. “The crazy thing is, I didn’t see it until a day-and-a-half later because I was still getting over the fact of what was going on. Being somewhere 28 years all your life and just in a blink of an eye, gone, just like that. I’ve never been without a job. [From there] everything went rapid and I came up here and it just felt right.”

Indeed, Norman didn’t remain unemployed for long. The Redskins sent owner Dan Snyder’s private jet to Atlanta—his hometown in the offseason—to pick up Norman and bring the fifth-year player to Ashburn along with his mother, agent and financial advisors. Within a few hours, a five-year, $75 million contract that guaranteed $36.5 million at signing had been stuck.

Although Norman had other suitors, the 2012 fifth round pick says he chose the Redskins because he believes the team is on the upswing. He also noted Washington’s feistiness in a 44-16 loss to the then undefeated Panthers in Charlotte last November. That game was tied 14-14 in the second quarter.

“I would say what attracted me the most was that it still was a competitive team,” Norman said. “When we played you guys last year, y’all was competing all the way until the bitter end. It was no let-up. You guys had the fight in you all. You’re a playoff team. You was in the thick of things. And one piece here, one piece there, you guys can do what Carolina [did] when they went to the Super Bowl last year.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to getting back to the playoffs, here. You guys went last year, I’m looking forward to going even deeper into the playoffs and then the Super Bowl. That’s our motto, that’s the goal. That’s the ultimate goal. Yeah, you get to playoffs, you get deep into the rounds, the divisional and then the championship. I want to win the granddaddy of them all. I want to win the Super Bowl. And I’m not going to stop until I get back there. Because I know I will one day and then make the wrong a right.”

Norman instantly becomes the Redskins’ best player on defense. He also figures to shore up a secondary that allowed a combined 65 passing touchdowns the past two seasons. 

RELATED: With Josh Norman a Redskins, could draft focus shift to WR Josh Doctson?

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

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Need to Know: Looking ahead—Key Redskins 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 18, 39 days before the NFL draft.  

Looking at next year’s free agents

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens.

Note: I’m not including Brandon Scherff here because the team has a fifth-year option on him that they surely will activate before the May 2 deadline.

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard).

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility.

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon.

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup.

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight.

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Regarding the reported visit of defensive lineman Jonathan Hankins with the Redskins:


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 29
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 131
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 175

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