Josh Norman reunited with a familiar face.
The veteran cornerback agreed to terms with the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal worth $6 million base value with incentives that could push the contract to $8 million, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported, via sources informed of the pact.
Norman reunites with Sean McDermott, who was the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator during the height of corner’s career. Bills GM Brandon Beane was also in the Panthers’ front office when Carolina drafted Norman in the fifth round in 2012.
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The familiarity works well for both sides. The Bills know the type of person and player Norman can be when everything is right. Norman knows McDermott’s system could eek whatever is left from the corner turning 33 during the 2020 season.
The Washington Redskins released Norman last month after four seasons. He was due $12.5 million and struggled mightily last year, eventually getting passed up on the depth chart.
Norman took advantage of his early jump on free agency to land a deal.
Garafolo added that Norman spoke to several teams following his release, and quietly took a visit to Buffalo. The veteran corner landed on a one-year deal with the Bills due to his familiarity with McDermott’s system, the talent on the Bills playoff defense, especially stud corner Tre’davious White on the opposite side of the field.
Norman should look better in Buffalo as a No. 2 or 3 corner than he did as the anchor in Washington. If he can stay healthy and returns to form, the deal could prove to be a savvy one for the Bills — especially if Norman plays well enough to hit those incentives.
As with most corners, time is a brutal father, taking his pound of flesh each year. Norman looked like a player close to the end last season, getting burned with regularity. If he doesn’t bounce back, the gambit shouldn’t hurt the cap-flush Bills much. If he finds the fountain of youth in Buffalo with McDermott, it could be a brilliant reunion that benefits both parties.
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