What Happened to Josh Norman?

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 17: Cornerback Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins reacts after a play in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at FedEx Field on December 17, 2017 in Landover, Maryland
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Josh Norman was arguably the best corner in the league in 2015, and now, he can’t even keep a contract. The Redskins cut Norman in February and the Bills signed him in March after his release.

In 2015, Norman made a name for himself, becoming a First-Team All-Pro corner and a Pro Bowler. Per Pro Football Focus, Norman recorded an 89.9 coverage grade. Quarterbacks only completed just over 50% of their passes when throwing into Norman’s coverage.

Norman’s Decline

After signing a five-year, $75 million contract with the Redskins, Norman’s numbers dropped off. When the Redskins benched Norman in the 2019 season, his coverage grade was 45.6. His grade fell 44.3 points from 2015 to 2019. 

Surprisingly, the Redskins had the chance to keep Norman on his contract, and possibly make him the All-Pro corner he once was.

The Redskins fired Jay Gruden after the 2019 season; he coached the team for six years. When the Redskins went out looking for his replacement, they brought in former Panthers coach, Ron Rivera. Rivera was the coach of the Panthers during Norman’s time there. He was one of the coaches to develop him into an All-Pro. It’s surprising for the Redskins to not keep Norman, and see if the defense Rivera brings in, helps him out.

Norman signed a one year, six million dollar deal with the Bills and could prove himself there. He is the second string right cornerback behind Levi Wallace. If he can’t get his game together, he could act as a mentor for Tre’Davious White who has already proven himself as an elite corner, just in his first season.

Norman has fallen off and could potentially use this opportunity with the Bills as redemption. If he doesn’t even put up average stats this season, he will prove that he was just a one-season wonder. The upcoming season will be an indicator of how much he has left in him, and if he can ever return to the elite state he was once in.