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.
The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:
- The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
- It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
- Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous.
- While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.
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JP Finlay and Rich Tandler address the most important question for Redskins fans after two straight losses - is it time to freak out?
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