Fred Smoot says Skins should cut Josh Norman

Ben Krimmel
May 17, 2019 - 1:01 pm

They hoped Josh Norman would make a big splash when he was a free agent signing in 2016. Instead, the only ripples from the past few years have been rumors about his departure.

After signing Norman to a five-year, $75 million contract following his exile from Carolina, the Washington Redskins haven't gotten the desired results during his 45 games in D.C.

Earlier this offseason head coach Jay Gruden said the organization wanted better production from the big money corner. "We're looking for more from Josh," Gruden said at league meetings in March. "He’s going to give us more because we're going to demand more. We're looking for superstar status."

And while not getting that "superstar" level of play, Washington has paid "superstar" prices.

The case against Norman is pretty simple: "He just is not having the impact that the Redskins had to have been expecting," Grant Paulsen said on 106.7 The Fan.

Former Redskins corner Fred Smoot said the team can't afford to pay sticker price for the aging corner.

"You wouldn't go to a used car lot and try to pay new car prices, would you?" Smoot told the Redskins Talk podcast. "At the end of the day, for what we pay for this guy, we're not getting that return on that investment. I'm sorry, we paid too much for the car, it's time we trade it back in."

Norman, who turned 31 in December, carries a $14.5 million cap number for the 2019 season. The Skins releasing him with a post-June 1 designation would cost them $6 million in dead money, but save them $8.5 million.

"I'm going to look at that big cap number that Josh Norman has and that's going to make me want to release him," Smoot said.

If the Redskins move on from Norman, the secondary entering training camp will feature Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and a quartet of late-round draft picks including 2019 seventh round pick Jimmy Moreland.

However, the case for keeping Norman is pretty simple also: This lack of proven quality on the Skins depth chart could mean a reprieve for Norman in 2019.

"I wouldn't cut him because of the rest of the position around him right now," Paulsen said. "If they had talent at corner, I'd say, 'Yeah, move on from Norman he's not worth the money.' I don't know if they have enough talent to make that decision."

106.7 The Fan Redskins reporter Craig Hoffman agreed with Paulsen: "They need Josh. Unless you believe Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar are two starting-caliber corners they need Norman and while he hasn't been what they hoped in terms of producing turnovers and all those other kinda things, he's been really good, he covers well.

"Any push to dismiss Josh Norman makes the Redskins worse as (they're) currently constructed," Hoffman said.

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