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Redskins agree to terms with All-Pro CB Josh Norman

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Redskins agree to terms with All-Pro CB Josh Norman

The Redskins signed former Panthers cornerback Josh Norman on Friday, making a bold—and costly—move designed to shore up a pass defense that ranked 25th in 2015. The move was reported by multiple media sources, including Rand Getlin and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

CSNmidatlantic.com has confirmed the news.

Norman instantly becomes Washington’s best player on defense, having earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors last season while playing for the Super Bowl runners up. And, although precise figures have yet to emerge, the 28-year-old is expected to become the Redskins’ highest paid player on defense and the team’s second highest paid player behind quarterback Kirk Cousins, who will earn almost $20 million this season.

Norman is a feisty player known for his swashbuckling confidence. He's also known for backing up his brash talk with big plays and steady production. Last season, he notched career highs in passes defended (18), interceptions (4) and forced fumbles (3). His two interceptions returned for a touchdown were tied for the most in the NFL.

ProFootballFocus.com rated Norman, a 2012 fifth round pick who had spent his entire career in Carolina, as the sixth best cornerback in football a year ago.

Although Norman is changing teams, the learning curve is not expected to be very steep. He played a lot of zone coverage in Carolina. The Redskins play a lot of zone under defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

The Redskins could put Norman opposite Bashaud Breeland, giving the Redskins a top-tier veteran on one side of the field and an emerging star on the other. Assuming Chris Culliver returns to form after suffering a torn ACL in November, that could give the Redskins a trio of physical, productive and proven corners on the backend.   

For all the above reasons, the addition of Norman makes a lot of sense for a Redskins’ team that went 9-7 last season and is attempting to take the next step. But the signing doesn’t come without a couple of questions. For one, can Norman achieve the same level of play with different players around him and different coaches asking different things of him? And two, why did a quality team allow an All-Pro corner to walk out the door without any compensation?  

We don’t have the answers to either of those questions. But we know this much: if Norman can reproduce the season he had last year, he’ll be worth the price of admission…and then some.

Think about this Redskins fans: Norman will get to face his former team in Week 15 at FedEx Field, on Monday Night Football nonetheless. You’ll also get to see him match up against Odell Beckham Jr. and Dez Bryant two times each season.

MORE REDSKINS: Pursuit of Josh Norman looks a lot like chase for DeSean Jackson

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Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Need to Know: Did the Redskins underachieve in 2016?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 18, 99 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 43
NFL free agency starts 51
First Sunday of 2017 season 236

The coordinator search and more

Did the Redskins underachieve this year? I know that a metric like Football Outsiders' DVOA is not the final word in the quality of a team but looking at it year after year it usually does work out that the teams with the better numbers in DVOA usually win more games than those with worse numbers. The Redskins finished 2016 eighth in DVOA. Considering that 12 teams make the playoffs, that could be considered a playoff quality team. Yet 15 teams finished with a better record than they did. I’m sure there are some holes in the formula for the stat but just looking at that it sure appears that the Redskins did leave some wins out on the field.

John Keim is reporting that the Redskins are prepared to switch to a 4-3 defense if that is what their new defensive coordinator prefers. They have been in the 3-4 since Mike Shanahan arrived in 2010. Whether it is because of the scheme or lack of draft and free agent resources spent on the line and at safety, the defense hasn’t been very good. As Keim notes, they will need to make some personnel changes if they do change but with a full load of draft picks and $62 million in cap space this may be the time to do it.

I expected the angst that was all over Twitter when word of the Rob Ryan interview got out. But it’s pretty dumb to get all worked up over an interview (with all due respect to readers here who may have been upset). It’s not a hiring. Look, somehow or another Ryan managed to stay employed as an NFL defensive coordinator for 12 straight seasons. I don’t know how to research it without going through some very time consuming and tedious steps but I’d be willing to bet that only about a few dozen men in the history of the league have been able to remain a defensive coordinator for that many season in a row. The organization can learn something from sitting down and talking to him for a few hours.

I understand that we want things to talk about in a relatively slow time. But I just don’t see why there is fear out there over the possibility that Kyle Shanahan will get hired as the coach of the 49ers and somehow steal Kirk Cousins away to be his quarterback. The Redskins can maintain his rights via the franchise tag. They could tag Cousins and trade him to the 49ers but there would be a heavy price in terms of draft picks. But while it’s possible, it’s unlikely. The chances are very, very good that Cousins will be in a Redskins uniform this year via either the tag or a long-term deal. 

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

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