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Details of Norman’s contract reveal some exit ramps for the Redskins

Apr 23, 2016, 10:56 AM EDT


Last night, immediately after the top-line numbers for Josh Norman’s contract came out it looked like Redskins had paid a ton of money for his services. But you should always wait until the full details of the contract emerge. They have and while Norman is going to be well paid, there are exit ramps that can be taken after two and three years that will prevent them from needing to pay top dollar to a cornerback who will be 33 by the time the five-year deal expires.

Here are some of the key aspects of the contract:

—The cap hit for this year is $8 million dollars. That comes from the prorated portion of his $15 million signing bonus (charged to the cap at $3 million/year) and a $5 million salary. All of that is fully guaranteed. It leaves the Redskins with about $3.6 million in 2016 cap space. They will have to make some moves before they start signing their draft picks (which will eat up almost all of that remaining space) but that is at least a couple of weeks away.

—In 2017 the big money gets rolled out, with a $16.5 million salary that is fully guaranteed. Norman can also earn up to $500,000 in roster bonuses, $31,250 for each game that he is on the 46-man active roster. Add in the $3 million prorated signing bonus and you have a cool $20 million cap charge, the highest single year in the deal.

—The Redskins will have a decision to make before March of 2018. That is when his $13.5 million salary, currently guaranteed for injury only, become fully guaranteed. If they want to move on after two seasons they will have paid Norman $36.5 million and will incur a dead cap chart of $9 million. If they decide to hold on to him the cap charge will be $17 million.

—There is no guaranteed money in the last two years of the deal. The cap numbers are $14.5 million in 2019 and $15.5 million in 2020. They could let him go prior to the 2019 season and incur a $6 million dead cap charge; the dead cap drops to $3 million in 2020.

Prior to the signing the Redskins were on track to have some $50 million of cap space in 2017. Norman is now slated to take up a big chunk of that and the Redskins also will need to pay Kirk Cousins as a franchise-type quarterback, plus both receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon will be free agents as will defenders Junior Galette and Chris Baker. It will be tough to juggle and some hard decisions will have to be made.

  1. austrianhttrfan - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:11 AM

    Well, big decisions yes, but they should be manageable shouldn’t they?
    Most important will be that the player they resign will just have a low cap number in the first year…
    But maybe I´m seeing this as to simple….

    • hail74 - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:31 AM

      Excellent point. While I personally think both garçon and Djax are playing their last season with us this year, were the team to resign one the first year of the contract would be low. Same goes for Reed and Cousins.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 10:50 AM

        Cousins, if successful, will most likely not come cheap resigning even on the first year. It depends really on his performance but after a 20 million dollar year which I don’t think will change for this season; Cousins may be willing to compromise more like other QBs do in order to keep a strong roster.

  2. austrianhttrfan - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:12 AM

    + don´t forget Reed is also gonna get paid….

  3. austrianhttrfan - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:13 AM

    I could imagine them escaping the contract at some point when they pay Breeland big time money…that would be probably the right time draft some corner high and plug him next to Breeland and let either Culliver or Norman go, at the end…I love the signing of Norman, but no way we can let Breeland walk out in 2 years…

    • celeoinc - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:18 AM

      Agree 100%

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      Culliver is already pricy now and I think the Norman signing puts his tenure here for the start of the season in serious jeapordy.

  4. celeoinc - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Thank you! Cris Culliver won’t be here in 2017. The important thing is that we have a way out when Breeland contract comes up. I firmly believe that Breeland will be special.

  5. bangkokben - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    “It will be tough to juggle and some hard decisions will have to be made.”

    It appears that those decisions have already been made — just not revealed. Norman having a $20,000,000 cap hit next year prohibits keeping all of Cousins, Reed, Galette, Jackson, Garcon, and Baker. The decision as to who are the front runners to leave will likely be revealed when the Redskins select their top two picks. Baker, Jackson, and Garcon all have their ages working against them. Galette with a solid performance will likely price himself out of the Redskins’ plans.

    So, after hearing about the details, I have decided that this a bad, balls to the wall, one year window shot at repeating as NFC East champs. In 2017, the Redskins will need to replace three of four starting positions (2 WR, DE, and OLB) to accommodate the cap hit of one very good starting CB.

    On the other hand, the Redskins could be looking into the future and thinking that Norman replaces Lauvao’s, Lichtensteiger, RobertsChris Culliver irregardless of how he plays this year, may be released at the beginning of the league year to save $6,750,000

    • chad - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:14 PM

      irregardless isn’t a word bro…lol just saying.

      • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:22 PM

        You’re right. I pick up bad habits here regardless who posts.

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 23, 2016 at 3:21 PM

          Pro tip: “disirregardless”

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 11:02 AM

        Grammar paTROLLING is a wasted comment for this forum.

    • bullets2586 - Apr 23, 2016 at 6:49 PM

      I bet Jackson and Garcon are gone after this year. They’ll draft 2 receivers in this draft.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 11:03 AM

        I think Garcon could be here for the remainder of his career. I really don’t see him being that expensive to resign after next season.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 11:00 AM

      Too much can happen in one season to think this far out about the future of other players. When I saw the original 50 million dollar guarantee rumor, I totally agreed with you. At least the team has some wiggle room here. Besides in one season we could see Cousins struggle, Galette flop, and Garcon and Jackson are reaching ages where providing huge salaries is not viable. In the end, it’s a huge investment on a player of great work ethics that I think will elevate to secondary to another level this season.

  6. bangkokben - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:35 AM


    That last paragraph wasn’t edited yet.

    On the other hand, the Redskins could be looking into the future and thinking that Norman replaces Lauvao’s, Lichtensteiger’s, and Roberts’ 2017 cap hits ($10,500,000 savings) as well as Hall’s ($4,250,000) and Culliver’s ($6,750,000). Which would net the Redskins $1,250,000 in savings and perhaps having all their replacements on the roster.

    • Bob - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:53 AM

      And deseans jacksons and peirr Garcons contracts are up next year which is another 10 million freed up, the math is there it’s not hard to figure out how to fix the problem

      • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2016 at 12:11 PM

        No, Bob. The Redskins have/had between $50-$60 million in cap space going into next year because of Riley, Jackson, and Garcon’s contracts being expired among others. The starting number is $50 million (less than the 2017 cap). Add $20 million for Norman and suddenly you’re at $30 million under the cap. Take away contracts (net savings) that are still on the books Culliver ($6.75M), Hall ($4.25M), Lauvao ($4M), Roberts ($4M), Lichtensteiger ($3.5M) and you’re now back to $52.5M under the cap.

        However, you still need a starting QB (Cousins), two starting WRs (Garcon & Jackson), an edge rusher (Galette), a DE (Baker), an ILB (Will Compton), and a free safety (Hall).

        You have replaced Culliver with Breeland (now needing a 3rd corner possibly), Lauvao with Kuandjio, Roberts with anyone, and Lichtenstieger with somebody else (Long, Reiter, draft pick, etc).

        So in net you still have your cap space but you need two more positions (free safety and 3rd corner) that you may have adequate replacements after this year’s draft.

        • kenlinkins - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:53 PM

          To make it work, the GM must think that the 2016 and 2017 draft will replace most what they can not resign in 2017 (i.e. Garson, Jackson, Galette and a DT and or DE).

        • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:57 PM

          Yep. Next week’s draft just got more interesting — as if that was possible.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 11:06 AM

      You know it’s a true bizarro world I find myself in when I know defend the idea of not retaining Lauvao. I think he may found his niche here last season. I really want to see him get another chance.

  7. rodney oldham - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Thanks for the contract breakdown Rich.
    Smart business move by the Mr. Snyder, Scot and Josh to front load the contract, yet put in the escape clauses to benefit the team.
    I was initially lukewarm about the move, but now this important bit of info. is out I like it. Norman on one side, Breeland on the other side with D.Hall playing safety. D has definitely improved. Httr!!

  8. COSkinsFan - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:41 AM

    This sounds like a good contract for us. I just watched the panther giants game and can’t imagine Norman pulling a haynesworth when he knows who he’s playing twice a year. We will have choices too make, but most successful teams do, luckily we appear to be on the path of good drafting and player development. I wanted us to draft apple with our first pick. I now see wr and dline as the top priorities. I’d be happy with a Billings at 21 and then another dline in the second. I still think boyfriend would be a great option for us there though.

    • COSkinsFan - Apr 23, 2016 at 5:47 PM

      I meant Tyler Boyd for an option at wr.

  9. Bob - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    I can think of a few players right now that should be let go who are not living up to there contracts that people are forgetting about who will help cover the move like Andre Roberts,perry Riley jr, there’s about 10 million in cap space.

    • bangkokben - Apr 23, 2016 at 11:53 AM

      Riley’s contract is finished this year. Roberts has two year left but removing him at any point free up next year.

  10. bowlregard - Apr 23, 2016 at 12:28 PM

    It sure seems like a balancing act between trying to put the best team on the field you can this year, and maintaining concern for the future. Most of McClue’s moves have shown a conservative approach that keeps future options open. But the Norman move shows he believes we can win now. Certainly the veterans want to win now, and I should think that they are happy that management is trying to put them in a position to succeed this year. I think this move helps make the Redskins a franchise players want to play for.

  11. greed - Apr 23, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    you guys can keep your contract and cap numbers with all do respect to all u guys cause you all make great points ! But today im going to be fanboy and we just signe an all pro corner in his prime who been coming into his own over the past 2 seasons , norman automatically upgrade every position in the secondary upgrades the pass rush today boys im celebrating ill worry about cap hits and contracts after the season for now HTTR

    • goback2rfk - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:02 PM

      I am with you. These noobs get too caught up in the numbers. If he doesnt perform he is gone in 2 years. Norman is a baller, a star, a top notch c. back. We need someone like Norman especially if we make the postseason again.

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 23, 2016 at 4:50 PM

        If he is gone in two years, the cap hit is $9,000,000.

        That’s a lot for a guy who isn’t on your team.

        But as I said, the deal is done, so I am now in Norman’s fan club. We need to make our DL stronger so that our cover 3 works like a charm.

        P.S. This n00b remembers the Sonny vs. Billy shenanigans. (I was a little kid in a pro-Sonny family.)

    • Melvin Dennis - Apr 23, 2016 at 7:43 PM

      Good point and I feel the same way. This is must see TV on Sundays. You know the monkey is still on Kirk’s back this year. Defense is gonna be mediocre at best until I see something. Nobody is talking about the run game which we sucked at least season. If we do at least get 10% progress there we will be in a good position. Only thing that is bad is the Bradford as well has something to prove and Eli and Romo are healthy plus Alfred Morris wants to do big things

  12. wncskinsfan - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Well. this next season looks to be fun. I am not crazy about him or the cap implications. He had better play lights out, or this is going to rank as a bad move on Scot M’s behalf. From what I see numbers-wise, and I agree, the draft will shed light on the plan . . . we will need to draft some WR and be prepared to free up some money. Or else those guys will need to negotiate some team friendly deals. That means that we need to be winning. A contender. And it is time for Cousins to come off of a team friendly deal, too. Seems kind of an all in move, too soon, but it will make for some fun games . . . provided the injury bug doesn’t pop up. High risk, high yield. High loss potential, too. Hope this works. We will need a slamming draft.

    • goback2rfk - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:50 PM

      It will turn out to be oneof the GM’s best signings and moves. Norman will deliver.

  13. Zach - Apr 23, 2016 at 2:11 PM

    Doesn’t seem like a hard decision to me. Draft an edge Rusher with upside and a plug and play WR in the 3rd/4th. Resign Reed, Cousins and Baker. Preston Smith will be solid enough to replace Gillette in a year full time hopefully and we have some young WR’s that could take over for DeSean and Garcon

  14. renhoekk2 - Apr 23, 2016 at 3:03 PM

    If they decide to resign Cousins it will be a long term deal, 5 or 6 years. They can construct it so 2017 and 2018 seasons on Cousins contract is lower than expected and push the big money into the last four years.. Same for Reed. Baker will be 30 early next season. He should not be getting a huge long term deal like some expect. Same for Galette. I believe they will take another Edge rusher early in the draft.

  15. Anonymous - Apr 23, 2016 at 3:09 PM

    I like it. Remember y’all; this team is still in a building period. Scott McGlock is prepping for the future with this signing I believe-and here’s my thought.

    This signing helps the future Cap, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Will Compton, and our younger O-lineman grow into great players: with the services of Junior Galette this year, it gives us adequate pass rush along with Kerrigan, which will allow us to further develop Preston Smith to be as effective rushing the passer for the 2017 season to replace JG. Chunk of money saved by not resigning JG.

    We’re trying Trent Murphy at DE (his natural position in college with his hand in the dirt) for additional pass rush, and if he does well then the pocket pressure only makes Josh Norman become even more better, as QB’s are hurried to throw and miss the timing of the WR routes. No need to sign a future high-priced DE; Chunk of money saved.

    If pressure up front is consistent, Will Compton will by default have more opportunities to elevate his game. Perry Riley gets released (chunk of money saved). Kory Lichtensteiger and Shawn Lavao might be beat-out by one of our younger O-lineman in this years training camp, but if not, the younger O-lineman (Kouanjou, Long, drafted rookie(s)) have time to develop into replacements under coach Callahan by 2017. Don’t resign Litch or Lavao; chunk of money saved. Breeland will get even better after this year; Culliver either reworks contract, moves the Safety (unlikely), or gets released. Chunk saved for 2017.

    This is what Scott “McGlock” wanted to do all along…to develop “homegrown” young drafted players into great pros, and this CB signing buys him time to do just that, as Josh Norman keeps us competitive during year 2 of Scott’s tenure.

    With these possible moves, 2017 equals: money is freed up for Josh Norman, the resigning of Jordan Reed and Kirk Cousins (possibly D Jax and Garçon with restructured contracts), AND we’ll maintain a foundation of younger developed impact starters. We’ll be contenders in the 3rd year of Scott McGlocks tenure. HTTR.

  16. kenlinkins - Apr 23, 2016 at 3:28 PM

    IMO many Redskins fans woke up this morning shaking their heads trying to figure out if the signing of Norman was some how forced on the GM (IMO the owner had very little to do with it). After all, most Redskins fans had just bought into the “value” signings and good draft picks that equaled a NFC East title in 2015. IMO the GM is still in the process of “right sizing” the roster. He paid T. Williams and Kerrigan, tagged Cousins and signed Norman. He will right size the WR position after this year and reset DT, DE and Safety in the next two drafts. Guys like Galette, Reed, Cousins, Culliver, and Baker still have big question marks to answer before I would hand them a big contract. Breeland IMO is the only guy who is still on pace to gain a big contract but that could be put off until 2018 if needed. If you can make guys like Galette, Reed, Cousins, Baker and Breeland feel that they need to have a ALL PRO year in order to cash in,(and guys like Culliver, Hall, Lauvao, Kory L, Roberts and Riley feel like they might be Cap Cuts this year) you are doing something right. Right now, I only see 4 or 5 guys that the Redskins could not make a Cap Cut and I like that as all shown me they could be a All Pro in 2016 and I like those odds.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 23, 2016 at 6:50 PM

      Our GM is a good drafter and a bit of a river boat gambler.

      I think you need that to win the Superb Owl. Let’s hope Norman pays off.

  17. skinsdiehard - Apr 23, 2016 at 3:49 PM

    Well we know Cousins will be back 2017. Baker and Garcon can go for sure. Not too hard to see.

  18. cowboyhater - Apr 23, 2016 at 7:07 PM

    Just don’t like this deal, and now hearing it was Bruce who made the call makes me think if there is a power issue between him and Scott. I have yet to hear from Scott about this signing, because this doesn’t sound like what he stands for in terms of overpaying for one player which will handicap you in the future in terms of signing other FA’s in next years pool of players, and our other players who are either on 1 year prove it deals, or coming out of their rookie contracts that we would like to keep on this roster. I think this was another irresponsible signing from this organization. Until I hear from Scott, I will continue to assume he had nothing to do with this signing and Bruce wanted to make sure everyone knew that he is still in charge. We will pay for this signing and it just makes me really disappointed that what we have started in terms of being a responsible organization, and continue to grow this team through the draft is no longer being executed. $20 mil next year!! That’s ridiculous!!

    • sidepull - Apr 23, 2016 at 8:04 PM

      Yea it would be nice to hear from Scot. I have not heard a peep but I bet there is some news out there in that regard. I always wondered what he would do if he got sideswiped. Be a real shame to lose a GM while gaining a CB. Who knows? Maybe its like he said, a group decision when it comes to good players suddenly becoming available. He got Djax, Gallete and nobody saw the coming to the Skins and nobody saw Norman even being cut loose. If he had of blown a bunch of money early in FA, Norman wouldn’t have even been a consideration. He saved his money and got himself a shiny new toy.

  19. ryan - Apr 23, 2016 at 9:46 PM

    Don’t like it- Norman isn’t that young, had less than 2 years as a top flight player, and his best season was in a contract year.

    And we are going to pay him a minimum of 36 mill for two years? That’s middle level quarterback money.

    Just a bad move from a salary cap perspective- guy is going to have to play at a super elite level for this deal to be worth it…

    there just aren’t many monster free agent deals that you can look at and say they were good moves

  20. hotpicksblog - Apr 23, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    Cullivers 8 million dollars will be gone next year. Andre Roberts will be gone. Garcon’s 10 million dollars will be gone….D JAX and his millions will be gone..but still those High Dollar contracts will be replaced with Cousins, Jordon Reed, Chris Baker and Jr. Galette. Think about that.

  21. Yours - Apr 24, 2016 at 1:51 AM

    “Prior to the signing the Redskins were on track to have some $50 million of cap space in 2017. Norman is now slated to take up a big chunk of that and the Redskins also will need to pay Kirk Cousins as a franchise-type quarterback, plus both receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon will be free agents as will defenders Junior Galette and Chris Baker. It will be tough to juggle and some hard decisions will have to be made.”

    This is what I wrote several times yesterday on CSN Mid-Atlantic BEFORE we signed Josh Norman. And a few know-it-all Redskins fans scoffed. But now even Rich Tandler is singing the same tune.

  22. Jdrew13 - Apr 24, 2016 at 8:15 AM

    looks like the Djax is on the move again

  23. redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 24, 2016 at 10:46 AM

    Very nice details Rich! It takes some stress off this deal knowing the options could reduce the guaranteed money. However, it’s still a big price tag but what is there not to like about Norman. He seems like a true baller that came out of nowhere in the draft to develop into an elite player. As for the ones not liking him being a true and rare shutdown corner well, Barry’s zone coverage system doesn’t really allow for shutdown corners. What we need is a player that can tighten the coverage and Norman can do that as good as anyone right now. Archives

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