Josh Norman wanted to leave the Redskins' facilities multiple times during his visit with the team on April 22. The only problem is, Washington's decision-makers literally wouldn't let him.
That nugget of information comes from a MMQB piece about the Burgundy and Gold's newest star that focuses on Norman's upbringing, the shock he felt when the Panthers took away his franchise tag and how he's already settling in well in his unfamiliar home. But arguably the most intriguing part of the article is the description of just how hard the Redskins went in their chase to sign the 28-year-old.
According to reports that day, the Saints were a franchise that was making a late push to meet with the defender. It got to the point where New Orleans head coach Sean Payton resorted to calling Norman over and over while he was making the rounds in Ashburn.
Scot McCloughan, however, apparently wasn't too pleased with Payton's methods.
"At one point,” he said, “I was ready to call Sean and say, 'Quit calling, he’s in my building!'"
The general manager wasn't the only one who was all-in on convincing Norman to stay, though. Jay Gruden's wife, Sherry, was at home recovering from surgery and needed her husband to bring her some food. But Gruden didn't acquiesce to her request until after it was clear the Redskins had landed the All-Pro.
"Luckily, Sherry is a very understanding woman," said defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who obtained a fresh secondary piece to experiment with that he probably never imagined having.
That type of commitment — along with the fact that Norman tried to leave on "at least two occassions," only to be denied — was undoubtedly key in completing one of the offseason's most notable moves. And when all was said and done, the player who's hungry for success again embraced one of his new bosses — for a fairly long time.
"He hugged me really hard,” McCloughan said. “He hugged me for like 10 seconds. He didn’t let go."