Josh Norman‘s brief voyage into free agency is over.
Just two days after the Carolina Panthers rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag on the All-Pro cornerback, Norman signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the Washington Redskins on Friday, a source informed of the situation told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The contract, which makes him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, includes $50 million in guarantees.
Norman’s new contract ends a brief but profitable courtship for the 28 year old, who became a free agent Wednesday. He visited the Redskins on Friday — flying to D.C. aboard the team’s private jet — and signed a deal hours later. Norman was contacted by roughly 10 teams within hours of the Panthers cutting him free, but Washington wouldn’t let him leave the building without a contract.
With the draft kicking off next week, teams interested in Norman were expected to move swiftly. Norman also hoped to have a pact in place before the first round launched next Thursday.
Norman would have been one of the hottest commodities at the start of free agency, but his late entry into the open market ultimately didn’t hurt his value.
It’s by far the biggest splash of the Scot McCloughan era in Washington. The second-year Redskinsgeneral manager has operated conservatively in free agency, looking for reliable veteran help at a decent price. The Norman deal tosses that strategy into the blender.
The Redskins sat just $11,682,340 under the salary cap before inking Norman, per OvertheCap.com, but McCloughan will find a way to work the books. Besides, if Norman plays the way he did last year, the guaranteed money will be worth it.