Would Bill Belichick have any interest in signing veteran quarterback Josh Norman?
The Washington Redskins released cornerback Josh Norman on Thursday, and I've been asked by some Patriots fans if signing Norman would make sense for the Patriots? I think it actually makes a ton of sense for New England to go after Norman.
At one time Norman was one of the best, and the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. But, in 2019 we saw a very concerning dip in his play, and he even found himself benched for some of this season. The Redskins were going to have to pay him about $15 million this season, and releasing him on Thursday saves them about $12.44 million. So with all that being said about Norman, why does it make sense for the Patriots to offer him a contract?
The Patriots have a lot of problems they need to solve this offseason. Outside of Tom Brady being a free agent, the Patriots second most important player Devin McCourty is a free agent, and in a recent interview he seemed content with the fact that he may have to play somewhere else next season. What does Josh Norman have to do with Devin McCourty? - The Patriots don't need a starting cornerback, in fact they don't even need depth, but they could move a current depth piece, sign Norman to an incentive heavy deal worth about $1 million, and save about $3 million to put towards re-signing McCourty.
The Patriots have a lockdown secondary and three outstanding starters. Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson could be one of the best corner tandems in the league, and even though Johnathon Jones was beat deep a couple of times this season, he's the Patriots best option as the slot corner position, regardless of free agents available and the draft. The Patriots have Joejuan Williams who’s heading into his second NFL season to add to the depth and the future. That leaves Devin's twin brother Jason McCourty and his $3.8 million contract as the odd man out.
The twins have won a Super Bowl together, so I don't think Jason being cut will have much impact on whether or not Devin re-signs with the Patriots. Jason missed a lot of time in 2019 and the secondary showed they didn't need him on the field to still be productive. That doesn't mean that the Patriots couldn't afford to have a savvy veteran who could take minimal snaps and be a depth piece in the rotation.
Josh Norman is a pest, and we all remember how he got under Odell Beckham Jr's skin back in 2015 when Norman was a member of the Carolina Panthers, and OBJ was playing for the New York Giants.
I'm not saying that Norman is going to be this huge impact player, but in a season that the Patriots are short money and have important free agents to sign, Josh Norman could be a cheap depth piece that the Patriots could get some production from.