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Redskins agree to terms with All-Pro CB Josh Norman

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Redskins agree to terms with All-Pro CB Josh Norman

The Redskins signed former Panthers cornerback Josh Norman on Friday, making a bold—and costly—move designed to shore up a pass defense that ranked 25th in 2015. The move was reported by multiple media sources, including Rand Getlin and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

CSNmidatlantic.com has confirmed the news.

Norman instantly becomes Washington’s best player on defense, having earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors last season while playing for the Super Bowl runners up. And, although precise figures have yet to emerge, the 28-year-old is expected to become the Redskins’ highest paid player on defense and the team’s second highest paid player behind quarterback Kirk Cousins, who will earn almost $20 million this season.

Norman is a feisty player known for his swashbuckling confidence. He's also known for backing up his brash talk with big plays and steady production. Last season, he notched career highs in passes defended (18), interceptions (4) and forced fumbles (3). His two interceptions returned for a touchdown were tied for the most in the NFL.

ProFootballFocus.com rated Norman, a 2012 fifth round pick who had spent his entire career in Carolina, as the sixth best cornerback in football a year ago.

Although Norman is changing teams, the learning curve is not expected to be very steep. He played a lot of zone coverage in Carolina. The Redskins play a lot of zone under defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

The Redskins could put Norman opposite Bashaud Breeland, giving the Redskins a top-tier veteran on one side of the field and an emerging star on the other. Assuming Chris Culliver returns to form after suffering a torn ACL in November, that could give the Redskins a trio of physical, productive and proven corners on the backend.   

For all the above reasons, the addition of Norman makes a lot of sense for a Redskins’ team that went 9-7 last season and is attempting to take the next step. But the signing doesn’t come without a couple of questions. For one, can Norman achieve the same level of play with different players around him and different coaches asking different things of him? And two, why did a quality team allow an All-Pro corner to walk out the door without any compensation?  

We don’t have the answers to either of those questions. But we know this much: if Norman can reproduce the season he had last year, he’ll be worth the price of admission…and then some.

Think about this Redskins fans: Norman will get to face his former team in Week 15 at FedEx Field, on Monday Night Football nonetheless. You’ll also get to see him match up against Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant two times each season.

MORE REDSKINS: Pursuit of Josh Norman looks a lot like chase for DeSean Jackson

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 23, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Eagles, 8:30 pm, ESPN

Days until:

—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 13
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 31

Final report on injures of note:
Out
: CB Josh Norman (rib),
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee)CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),
See the full injury report and analysis here

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Eagles

—The first time these teams met, both scored defensive touchdowns. Ryan Kerrigan got the first Redskins points on the board with a pick six of Carson Wentz in the second quarter. With a minute and a half left, Fletcher Cox wrapped up the game for his team with a 20-yard return of a very controversial fumble. The difference tonight could well be a defensive or special teams score.

—In that game, the Redskins never let the Eagles get any sort of running game going. The Eagles rushed for 54 yards, the second-lowest total for a Washington opponent this year. And they had 24 attempts (2.4 yards per) so it wasn’t as though they didn’t try. The Redskins could use another strong effort against the run this time as well.

—I examined third downs in the first look at this game a few days ago. Since then, this was bought to my attention.

Third downs could be a fatal flaw for the Redskins. The Eagles’ ability to convert third and long situations was a key to them being able to survive without much of a running game in the opener. The Redskins need to hold the Eagles to 40 percent or less on all third downs and to 25 percent or less on third and long. And they will have to do it without Josh Norman, their best defensive back.

—In the first meeting, the matchup of the Redskins’ offensive line and the Eagles’ defensive front went decidedly in Philly’s direction. Washington rushed for just 64 yards and Kirk Cousins was sacked four times. There were plenty of concerns about the line, especially RT Morgan Moses, who gave up two sacks, and RG Brandon Scherff, who gave up four total pressures. Those two and the unit as a whole have been better since that game. The Redskins’ front will need to win that battle this time around.

Prediction: A Week 7 game is not really a must-win when you have a winning record. There is a lot of season left to be played. But if the Redskins are going to take the next step and stay in the thick of things for the ideal playoff seeding, they need to take this one. This year in the NFL, just when everyone thinks they have things figured out something happens to flip the script. Everyone now figures that the Eagles are the best team in the NFC and perhaps the best in the NFL. They are ripe for an upset.

Redskins 24, Eagles 20

Season prediction record: 2-3

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

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS FOR EVERY GAME THUS FAR

Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 

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