The Washington Redskins cutting cornerback Josh Norman signifies new head coach Ron Rivera is wasting no time to fix this football team’s broken culture.
Ron Rivera was serious about changing the Washington Redskins’ broken culture when he became their next head coach. Roughly a month into the job, Rivera has watched a general manager get fired and has now added one of his top cornerbacks to the scrap heap.
According to Mike Garafolo of The NFL Network, Washington is releasing former Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman. He was due $12.5 million in 2020.
Cutting him will save the Redskins a ton of money — and potential headaches.
Rivera was fired before the end of last season by the Carolina Panthers, ending one of the recent longest tenures. He quickly agreed to be Washington’s head coach, so long as things would be different under his administration. This started with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder firing former team president and general manager Bruce Allen and head trainer Larry Hess. Apparently, Rivera is not done.
This is incredibly interesting because Norman’s best year as a professional was on the 15-1 Panthers back in 2015. Carolina went to the Super Bowl, but Norman was not long for the team.
One could argue Norman’s falling out with the Panthers had more to do with former Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman than Rivera. However, if Rivera really wanted Norman back in Charlotte on a new deal, the defensive-minded head coach would have convinced Gettleman to give him one. To part ways with Norman before the season starts says Rivera means business.
This is a controversial move for the Redskins to make. Norman is one of Washington’s better defensive players. He knows Rivera’s coaching style and defensive philosophies. Not only did he thrive in it in Charlotte, but he could have been a major proponent of it during the major Washington culture overhaul.
But as is the case with Norman, he can be a bit of a dissenter and that’s exactly what Rivera doesn’t need in reclaiming this sunken Washington ship of a franchise. Rivera can’t afford to have any guys in the building who may not be fully bought in, especially ones who have seen it all before and have the chance of being condescending.
Overall, Norman is still a good player and one who could bolster a team’s lackluster secondary. Admittedly moving on from Norman this quickly is a bit odd because some of us thought he and Rivera could rekindle what made 2015 such a special year for Panthers football. Ultimately, this move wasn’t without meticulous calculation. Rivera knows exactly what he’s doing.