As many fans had hoped and expected to happen in the offseason, the Washington Redskins released cornerback Josh Norman on Friday. This was one of several moves the Redskins needed to make in order to free up cap space. Releasing Norman saves the organization $12.5 million in cap space. This release was expected, even after owner Dan Snyder hired head coach Ron Rivera, who coached Norman back with the Carolina Panthers.
Norman was brought over in 2016, after the Panthers removed the franchise tag on him due to stalled discussions on a long-term contract. He signed a 5-year, $75 million deal, courtesy of ex-general manager Bruce Allen. While he did play well in the 2016 season, several injuries from 2017 through 2019 put him on the sidelines and decreased his capability of being a high-caliber, starting cornerback.
His performance was terrible enough to be benched in the second half of the season by interim head coach Bill Callahan and ex-defensive coordinator Greg Manusky. When in coverage, Norman allowed a 129.0 passer rating in 2019, which clearly is enough to say that he did not deserve to be the number 1 cornerback on the team.
With the extra cap space (and more that will likely come along), the Redskins can certainly sign a younger but proven cornerback to play alongside cornerback Quinton Dunbar, who stated that he does NOT want to be traded and wants to understand his place with the revamped coaching staff.
As for Norman, it won't be easy for him to find a new home easily. But if a team is looking for some veteran depth, such as the New England Patriots, he is a good addition. Don't expect him to start on a team unless injuries stack up. Nonetheless, don't be surprised if he gets signed late in the offseason, just before roster cuts.