Josh Norman became perhaps the best cornerback in football while playing for the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to enjoy his time there.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Norman claims that the Panthers didn’t treat him well. He claims that they shunned him and screwed him over on anything and everything, from sponsorships to interviews. He claims that they hid things from him and that all they wanted to do was celebrate Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. He said he felt stifled. He also said that Roger Goodell is “straight horrible” and that society is “soft” for finding the word “Redskins” offensive.
Norman, 28, hasn’t played a down yet for Washington, and already he’s blasting people left and right.
What’s the deal?
“It’s a really interesting dynamic here,” D.C.’s 106.7 The Fan Redskins reporter Brian McNally said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “A lot of those things you just reference came out of an ESPN story with Kevin Van Valkenburg. They talked and went to Paris in May, went on a trip and that’s where Norman kind of unloaded, I guess. The interesting thing is (Tuesday) after practice, he didn’t want to talk about any of it. He kind of wants to put it on the back-burner. He said, ‘Hey, why don’t you guys want to ask me about practice or what happened out there? I don’t really want to talk about things that I said a couple months ago.’ It doesn’t really work that way, and I think Josh Norman is starting to realize that. When you ascend to the level of stardom that he has here over the last, say, 18 months, over the last two years, people are going to start noticing what you say, coming to you, asking you for your opinion. And if you’re a little bit inflammatory, it’s going to come at you.
“So I think there’s two things here,” McNally continued. “The Redskins have got a guy who’s embracing – or trying to learn to embrace – that, that when he says things, it’s going to blow up nationally, that you can’t just attack the commissioner of the league and not have people take notice. And yet, at the same time on the field, he is the last guy off the field pretty much every day. He was throughout training camp. He’s clearly a guy who’s put in the work to get where he is. Coaches, teammates generally are supportive of him. They don’t come at him. They don’t think he’s being a distraction or anything like that. And his play obviously this season will tell the story of whether he lives up to that massive contract the Redskins signed with him.”
Norman signed a five-year, $75 million contract with Washington in April.
“He’s the highest-paid corner in the league,” McNally said. “But it’s kind of a fascinating dynamic here between a guy learning how outspoken he can be and then also trying to live up to this massive deal that he signed in the offseason.”