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After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

After viral 2018 scuffle, Taylor Lewan offers to make peace with Josh Norman

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Titans tackle Taylor Lewan got into a widely-discussed altercation after Washington's Week 16 loss to Tennesse last season.

But on Thursday, Lewan said he's finally ready to let bygones be bygones. 

Lewan tweeted he wants Norman to come on the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast he co-hosts with former Redskins linebacker Will Compton to "settle our differences."

Judging by what happened last December, there are plenty of differences: Norman threw his helmet at Lewan after the latter approached him, Lewan later accusing Norman of trying to hurt Titans running back Derrick Henry.

"I'm not worried about Josh Norman, man," Lewan told reporters after the incident. "I'm an offensive lineman, he's a [defensive back]. I don't know who that is."

"I was pissed. He was trying to hurt Derrick [Henry]. That's BS. That’s not the way football’s supposed to be played, man. It’s not our fault you’re not relevant anymore."

"Why would you come to another man's sideline?" Norman said of the dust-up. "And then after you won a game, you pick fun at the player that is relevant. You go out of your way to come to his bench, his sideline, to go at him in that kind of way."

"We're not having it. We will not tolerate disrespect. That's zero tolerance for that. That was the ultimate disrespect. You just don't do that."

The incident happened months ago, so it's about time the pair made peace. And as an ex-Redskin and ex-Titan, perhaps Compton can help mend the fences. But if Norman does accept Lewan's invitation to come on the podcast, we might be in for even more verbal fireworks. 

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Questions facing Ron Rivera: How to fix the Trent Williams situation?

Questions facing Ron Rivera: How to fix the Trent Williams situation?

Ron Rivera already proved he can be decisive. It happened quickly, if there was a question, when Rivera released veterans Josh Norman and Paul Richardson last week. 

Being honest though, considering the salaries and the production, those decisions were easy. What to do with Trent Williams isn't.

The Redskins seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle didn't play a snap in 2019, holding out from the organization due to medical concerns and a lack of trust with the team's leadership. Well, Rivera overhauled the medical staff and Bruce Allen is gone, so two of Williams' concerns have been removed. 

Still, guaranteed money remains. And it's not an easy answer. 

Williams stands to make about $15 million this season, but none of it is guaranteed. That means if an injury happens, and Williams will turn 32 in July, Washington could get out of paying anything, which is unacceptable to the tackle. 

The good news is Rivera has made progress with Williams; the men have talked and an in-person meeting could be in the works. 

The options going forward, however, aren't as simple. 

Could Williams come back and just play on his 2020 contract? Sure, but without additional guarantees, don't expect it. 

Could Williams get a new deal, an extension, or more guarantees for this year? Sure, but Rivera might hesitate. Williams hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013 and has battled a bevy of injuries. Does it make sense to extend a 32-year-old tackle, even one as good as Williams? That's not an easy answer when the salary would probably be at least $15 million a season. 

Could Williams get traded? Sure, but Washington will never get equal value back on Williams.

The Redskins made a dramatic mistake last year by not trading Williams when it was obvious his holdout was very serious. Washington could have dealt a Pro Bowl left tackle with two years left on his contract to a number of desperate teams. The Browns publicly admitted they wanted Williams and former Redskins team president Bruce Allen wouldn't take the call. Even six weeks into the year when Williams had not reported, Allen refused to talk about a trade.

With one year left on his deal, Williams' trade value has changed. He might not command a first-round pick, and without a first-rounder, is it really worth trading a Pro Bowler?

Rivera comes to Washington with an outstanding reputation for dealing with players. His best play with Williams might be to simply level with the player that felt mistreated. 

The Redskins need Williams back on the field to protect young quarterback Dwayne Haskins and revitalize their run game. Williams is one of, if not the, best tackles in football. The team is better with him suited up on Sundays. 

How to get it done is tricky, but perhaps Rivera can offer more guarantees this year to get Williams back in the building. From there, maybe an extension is possible. Or maybe not.

Washington can't look at Williams' situation in simple terms. The team needs to show a commitment to their best players and fixing previously screwed up situations. That would show a real change in the organization. 

Whatever happens - even if it is a trade - Rivera made real progress by simply engaging Williams. Ideally, there is a real fix on the horizon, but if nothing else, the Redskins can't allow the Williams situation to drag out for the whole 2020 season and be a dark cloud over the team like it was in 2019. 

It appears that is already on a better plane than last year. 

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Ron Rivera sees releasing Josh Norman as an opportunity for Redskins to get younger

Ron Rivera sees releasing Josh Norman as an opportunity for Redskins to get younger

On Friday the Redskins released veteran cornerback Josh Norman, and on Saturday head coach Ron Rivera explained that the decision allowed the team to get younger at a key position. 

"The big thing is it's an opportunity for us to get younger. Josh is a veteran guy and again, just looking at the young guys that we have, we got to get these guys on the football field and more exposed," Rivera said. 

Rivera spoke to reporters at a charity event in Charlotte, and while everything he said is true, it's also not the full story. Yes, Norman just turned 32 in December, but Washington's decision to cut him was not solely about age. 

Norman was set to make $15 million in 2020, and the team will save $12.5 million on the salary cap by letting him go. And his level of play no longer validated the hefty price tag and probably hasn't for the last two seasons. Norman finished the 2019 season on the bench and only played in rare situations when the other active cornerbacks were hurt. 

As for a youth movement at cornerback, it's coming, ready or not. Quinton Dunbar is in the last year of his deal and will be 28 when the season starts. Fabian Moreau will be in the last year of his rookie deal and will be 26 when the season starts. Jimmy Moreland had an up and down rookie year in 2019 and will be 25 when the season starts this fall. 

Some NFL sources also expect the Redskins to be quite active in free agency, particularly at the cornerback spot. Two names to watch are unrestricted free agents James Bradberry and Bashaud Breeland. Bradberry played for Rivera in Carolina while Breeland nearly signed with the Panthers as a free agent in 2018 before a foot injury voided his contract. 

So sure, the Redskins released Norman in part of an effort to get a younger roster. But there was plenty more involved, Rivera just decided to take the high road with his public comments. 

NOTES: Rivera also got asked about taking the Redskins job earlier this offseason: "It's going well. It's a little bit of a transition obviously as well. It's an opportunity to change things and kind of put things in the way we want to have them done. "

The coach also got asked about the difference between coaching in Charlotte and coaching in D.C. "The area is huge. Compared to here there's a lot of people," Rivera said. "It's very loud. All the restaurants are very loud." True words. 

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