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Need to Know: Norman’s contract has some exit ramps for the Redskins

Jun 2, 2016, 5:12 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 2, 56 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 144 days ago. It will be 102 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 56; Preseason opener @ Falcons 70; Final roster cut to 53, 93

I’m enjoying a vacation week in the Outer Banks. While I’m gone I’m presenting a few of the most popular posts from earlier this offseason (Note: A few details may not be updated) as well as some posts looking back at some of the team’s best performances. Thanks for reading, see you again on Monday, June 6.

This was originally posted on April 23.

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.

In case you missed it 

  1. colorofmyskinz - Jun 2, 2016 at 6:24 AM

    He will be worth the money.

    We will need to decide between Garcon and DJax. I dont think we can keep both. The obvious target is DJax with his lackadaisical attitude toward offseason development. He is the only one on the team not willing to work when all the other leaders are. These days during he summer could be spent developing a serious gel with his new first unit team and Kirk, instead he is crusing beaches in Cali.

    You know real leaders like Kirk, Gruden, Kerrigan, and Trent are not happy. I like how DJax takes the lid off defenses but he also makes critical non team mistakes too like that Dallas game. That was a total brain fart.

    Everyday he misses these offseason workouts is another day reason to keep Garcon vs DJax. The team is in Not in Cali last time I checked. Most the others are there. You think Norman could have sat it out for awhile, you bet. He was in the building the Monday after the Friday signing.

    Don’t let the political correctness of the team mislead you into thinking they are happy about DJax doing exactly what he did last year prior to pulling his hammy. That boy did not learn.


    • bangkokben - Jun 2, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      They don’t need to re-sign either — at least not at this moment. They’re currently eleven million dollars under the cap. They can watch how the SEASON plays out before making a decision or offer to either one.

    • dcfaninecuador - Jun 2, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      You may notlike him, butDjax is a man, not a “boy”

    • John - Jun 2, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      Making a mountain of a molehill. Jackson is not considered a leader on this team. OTAs are not mandatory. The practice only a few days and don’t get together again until July. Not much will be accomplished at OTAs in regards to timing. This is more for rookies and undrafted free agent rookies and newcomers in general.

      • colorofmyskinz - Jun 2, 2016 at 12:26 PM

        More for rookies??? Everyone BUT DJax is there. All leaders are there. All veterans are there. The only person not there is DJax. So it looks a bit suspect. Don’t agree with you.

      • colorofmyskinz - Jun 2, 2016 at 12:41 PM

        Not much accomplished??? When the head coach is talking about Doctson missing key reps. Listen, there is no excuse for DJax not being there. Even Norman is living out of a hotel. Let’s face it, DJax thinks he is better than the NFL. Sure he is talented but everyone can hone their strengths and develop opportunities. He better not be pulling up lame on a hammy on his first deep ball like last year. That quite frankly hurt the team. And he is doing it again. Putting himself above the team.

        • John - Jun 2, 2016 at 4:42 PM

          The only one making a BFD about Jackson being MIA is you. Looks as though Docson has been hurt at OTAs. The only folks that arequitrd to be there are newbies, anyone with 2 or less years in the pros. Jackson has been around for 9 seasons. Last year was the only time he had a significant injury. There are plenty of camps he can take part in where he can get in shape. His position is not exactly threatened. Like I said, your making a big deal of nothing.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jun 2, 2016 at 5:23 PM

          Man y’all love to hate DJax…. What was our record last year when he was out? Have a seat, we’ll be fine. He’s a pro, he knows how to get ready. OTA’s are voluntary, sure we’d like him to be here but he has been doing this FOR YEARS and has been productive FOR YEARS. Stop overreacting they don’t even have pads on. He’s not in a position battle like some of the veterans there. Norman is living out of a hotel because he’s new to the team and needs the reps. Doctson is a rookie so yes those reps are important for him. Jax knows what he needs to do to get his body ready.

    • 21indiscriminateThoughts - Jun 2, 2016 at 7:59 PM

      OTA’s don’t mean crap. Just show up to Training camp in shape and thats all that matters. OTA’s are day 1, 2, 3, 4 install, etc… then at TC they start from Day 1 install all over again. Per Captain chaos himself. Its better really to let rookies get more reps here. Just too bad Josh Doctson is injured, hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come. Its June… lets just chill

  2. garg8050 - Jun 2, 2016 at 6:39 AM

    I think Norman’s low cap number this year, and big cap number next year, make it less likely the team gets a deal done with Cousins before the deadline. They will allow Cousins to have a big cap number this year, and then work out a long term deal next offseason (assuming he plays well enough to earn one) which will have a low first year cap hit (2017), thus offsetting Norman’s big number. At least that’s one way to spin it.

    • colorofmyskinz - Jun 2, 2016 at 7:08 AM

      Sounds good, but I would not wanting take a risk on cousins throwing another breakout season. If he does, he will be about $3-5 M more per year than what we could lock him for now. We need to kick him before thus breakout season. Let’s face it, the weapons he has only requires him to throw itbinbthe near vacinity of any target.

      Lock him now!

      • John - Jun 2, 2016 at 10:13 AM

        Cousins will be signed at the last moment. They probably are closer on money, just not set on the years. Sometimes the agent gets in the way of things. From the agents perspective, if he gets Kirk big money, then he could end up being seen as the next Lee Steinberg (the big QB sports agent). Kirk is looking for long term security, not exit ramps.

        • bangkokben - Jun 2, 2016 at 10:39 AM

          Cousins has long-term security with the franchise tag. Every contract has exit ramps. The way to get rid of them is to have guaranteed contracts. Cousins at most has $45 M in guaranteed money coming his way. That’s three seasons before an exit ramp. Perhaps the Redskins are trying to keep the guarantees closer to the floor $20 M which would be two years before the team could bail if it’s in a long-term deal. The Redskins WILL bite the bullet and make the deal at the last minute. Five years, $96 M, with $40 M guaranteed.

    • bangkokben - Jun 2, 2016 at 9:48 AM

      Most long-term contracts are like stairs ($16M, $18M, $20M, $22M, and $24M for a five year $100 million contract)) so that the increases can coincide with the cap increases. Also, as the player ages and the percentage of guaranteed money decreases per year, the team can escape the contract with less dead money. So signing Cousins to a long-term deal next year would likely save the Redskins ZERO money. If Cousins plays average they’re starting on the 2nd stair. Cousins doesn’t have to play lights out to earn what has already be given to the likes of Sam Bradford and Brock Osweiler. His floor is set — provided he doesn’t (wet) the bed. If he plays lights out, and instead of making $18-$20 million average per year (AVP), he’s up to $25 million AVP with loads more guaranteed money.

      The Redskins are currently $11 M under the cap and AT LEAST $40 M under the cap next year. They can pay their own FAs with that money and let their WRs walk earning compensatory picks in 2018.

      • John - Jun 4, 2016 at 8:43 AM

        Cousins is secure in that most of the “elite” QBs (Brady, Big Ben, Brees, Rivers, Eli, Romo) are all up in age 35 – 39 and don’t have many years left (Manning fell off a cliff at 38). There are not a lot of quality QBs behind that group. If you want a quality QB you pay. Look at the money that Bradford and Osweiler got. Bradford has never lived up to expectations and Osweiler started 7 games with mixed results. Kirk led the league in completion %, broke several team records, led the tram to the playoffs and all without the benefit of a good defense and running game to back him up. He will get paid. If the team screws around they will just have to pay him more next year and or loss him in free agency to someone like Denver a team that has everything but a QB.

        • bangkokben - Jun 4, 2016 at 10:39 AM

          John, you’re preaching to the choir here. I’ve been writing about the ages of QBs since the beginning of last season and skills do jump off that cliff. It happens to everyone that has played the game. Marino who had arguably the best arm ever to play the position finished his career with a pick six — which he also is the career leader of. Add Arizona to that list of future retirees. The Jets and Browns would also be in play next year for Cousins if available.

  3. sidepull - Jun 2, 2016 at 7:37 AM

    Its all relative to how the player(s) performs. He does what he was brought here to do and everything will work out. Its only when a player underwhelms, does not “justify” the draft picks, money or productive players (s) that need to be cut to make room for his spot on the roster does the mutiny commence. A big money player rolls in and people have expectations equal to that money. Personally, I really don’t care how much he gets paid, not my money.

    I do like it when the Redskins have options to remove themselves from a deal that may go south from the perspective that it allows them to seek players that may produce for them. I only care how he performs. Same goes with any of the players that are the core of the team. Cuz is in the same boat. Production makes everybody happy, playoff wins make us forget who the Redskins had to let go of along the way to get there. Djax is going to do what he is going to do. Is he doesn’t produce I fully expect him to not be on the team next season. If he does, and lights it up, in my mind he is a serious, and unique threat.

    The Redskins have done well picking up some nice talent that was unexpected. Djax and Norman both came as a surprise when they became available. To the Redskins credit they did not go crazy in free agency, did not overpay for mediocre talent (except then stuck with Roberts when they got Djax ), they had money left to snag these guys.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jun 2, 2016 at 7:47 AM

    ,,,plus both receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon will be free agents as will defenders Junior Galette and Chris Baker.

    Assuming Galette has the kind of year we’re all hoping for*, I’m guessing we can afford 2 of these 4.

    * And Kirk C. does get that big contract.

  5. Jordan - Jun 2, 2016 at 4:14 PM

    Wow the people make it look like he going to be a BUST

  6. redskins12thman - Jun 4, 2016 at 7:16 AM

    I like Norman’s work ethic. Archives

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