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As June 1 cuts loom on the NFL calendar, where are Redskins with Josh Norman?

As June 1 cuts loom on the NFL calendar, where are Redskins with Josh Norman?

As the NFL lexicon slowly morphs into everyday language, more and more Redskins fans want to know if the team will do anything before June 1. 

Why?

The NFL allows for some salary cap relief if a team releases a player from his contract after June 1. In fact, the league allows teams to designate two players as "post June 1" cuts even before free agency opens. That designation lets a team split the dead money remaining on a released player's contract over two years rather than taking the immediate dead money hit on that year's salary cap, freeing up money in March for free agency. 

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On a local level, despite some ballooning contracts for veterans, the Redskins did not release any players with a post-June 1 designation prior to free agency. And now, as the calendar turns to June, there appear to be no cuts on the horizon. 

There has been some speculation that veteran cornerback Josh Norman could be a June cap casualty. Checking in with one team official, the word was there had not been discussions about releasing Norman. 

The 31-year-old corner is slated to count $14.5 million against the cap this season, and none of it is guaranteed. If the Redskins released Norman in June, they would save $11.5 million against the cap and eat $3 million in dead money this season and next. Had they released him before June, or without the June 1 designation, those numbers would have been less advantageous for the club, including the full $6 million dead cap hit this year. 

But, for all the fans that question if Norman has lived up to his Redskins contract, ask this question instead: 

What do the Redskins look like at cornerback without Norman?

He might not be the best corner in the NFL, but Norman has been good in Washington. He accounted for seven turnovers last season and has missed just two games in three years with the 'Skins. 

After Norman, the Redskins have Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, Adonis Alexander, Greg Stroman, Danny Johnson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jimmy Moreland. All have promise, some much more than others, but also have questions. 

  • Dunbar - Looked great early in 2018 before a mysterious nerve injury ended his season. Has not been seen running full speed since though Redskins officials say he's in good shape for Richmond. 
  • Moreau - Played well at times in 2018, but doesn't look like a natural slot CB. Could 2019 be a breakthrough year?
  • Alexander - Showed little in 2018, but has every measurable for a star CB. Lottery ticket. 
  • Stroman - Good games and bad last season as a rookie, smart player. 
  • Johnson - Started strong, ended poor. Hardly a roster lock. 
  • DRC - Last seen retiring from football in Oakland. If he's all the way in, versatile veteran presence the 'Skins could use. If he's not, probably doesn't last through Richmond. 
  • Moreland - 7th-round pick out of JMU. Has shown nose for football in OTAs. Also a 7th-round rookie out of JMU. Small, needs to show the same ability in full contact as he does in non-contact drills in May. Real chance for roster spot and maybe more if his level of play doesn't drop with pads on. 

After reading that, it's easy to understand why team officials in Ashburn aren't talking about cutting Norman. Put simply, if the Redskins were going to cut Norman, they would have months ago and already reaped the post-June 1 cap advantage. They didn't. 

That doesn't mean the situation won't change. Things change in the NFL. 

After losing Reuben Foster to injury, the 'Skins might look for help at inside linebacker. Should a quality veteran come available, maybe Bruce Allen does look to create salary cap space. 

If that happens, a veteran like Norman or tight end Vernon Davis could be in a different situation.  Davis is set to count $6.3 million against the Redskins salary cap in 2019, and if the team cuts him in June, they would free up nearly $5 million in cap space. 

Inside linebacker isn't the only spot Washington could look for a new player or an upgrade. If a veteran pass rusher or free safety popped up, that could be intriguing. There are also the unforeseen situations that pop up from time to time.

Nobody saw the Redskins landing DeSean Jackson in 2014, but they did. And nobody saw the Redskins landing Josh Norman in 2016, but they did. 

That brings things full circle to Norman, and to the June 1 cuts. 

If Washington wanted to cut Norman and get the salary cap advantage of a post June 1 designation, the organization could have done that already. 

They didn't.

Sources say it's not happening now either. 

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Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team under-performed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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