When the Carolina Panthers rescinded their franchise tag offer to All-Pro corner Josh Norman last month, it threw a lot of people for a loop.
One of the best defensive players in the NFL was now going to find himself hitting a watered-down free-agent market with what could be a near unlimited amount of suitors.
In the end, Norman’s decision seemed to come down to either the San Francisco 49ers or Washington Redskins.
While Norman couldn’t have possibly made a bad decision between the two, especially from a location standpoint, it seems he’s extremely happy with ending up in D.C.
In speaking with MMQB recently, Norman opened up about where he’s now calling home and what it means for him as a person off the field.
“In D.C. I felt I could be my own person, and I could take my career further,” Norman says. “I’m pretty sure it could have been like that in other places, but to be honest, the Redskins just got to me first.”
Norman had a visit lined up with the New Orleans Saints. He was also receiving a ton of interest from San Francisco, at which point it was reported the 49ers were his likeliest landing spot.
He never visited either city, instead opting to sign a contract with Washington before even leaving the building.
On the field, there’s a lot of appeal there. Washington is coming off a surprising NFC East title and boasts a solid young nucleus.
But it’s off the field that drew Norman to D.C. just as much:
“Taking in a view like this, you see everything the city has to offer,” Norman says of D.C. “The freedom, the power, the glory. I can have it all here.”
Talking with MMQB about everything from meeting former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, Norman opened up about what playing in the nation’s capital could mean to him moving forward.
He also wanted people to understand that receiving a $75 million contract with $50 million guaranteed wasn’t going to change him. He’s going to be the same person as before, just a lot wealthier.
It was definitely an interesting Q&A with Peter King’s website. Not too often do we get to witness the behind-the-scenes happenings in NFL free agency. Norman brought us front and center in that regard.
Sometimes, we seem to forget that a decision free agents make on where they are going to play next has as much to do with location and off-field situations as it does with money.