Back in the day it used to be if a free agent wanted to cash in they would trot over to Big D and the Jerry Jones cash machine. That was before Daniel Snyder bought the team in Washington and decided no matter how large the contract, no matter how big the trade, no matter how any move will hamstring the team cap or talent wise Snyder is here to prove he has the cajones to pull the trigger.
The year before he purchased the team in 1999 Snyder witnessed the Stubblefield signing and (obviously) used it as his personal guide post for his personal quest to dominate the all-time worst free agency signings top 10 list.
1998 – DL Dana Stubblefield – six years $36 million contract got the team seven sacks in three seasons.
Snyder took a few seasons to get his feet wet, then started setting the bar for futility to new levels in the free agency market.
2006 – Safety Adam Archuleta – six year, $30 million contract got the team seven starts in one season.
2009 – DL Albert Haynesworth – seven year, $100 million contract with $41 million in guarantees got the club a weekly byline in the NFL gossip column detailing the soap opera between the player and the coach.
2016 – CB Josh Norman – five year, $75 million with $50 million guaranteed for a 2012 fifth round selection who worked hard, improved yearly and benefited greatly from consistent QB pressure.
2012 – QB RGIII – three first round picks and …. opps, that was a trade but I had to sneak it in here somewhere. Task accomplished
Will Norman be worth the deal? Probably not. But like the Cowboys Brandon Carr who signed a $50 million deal with the Cowboys he should be effective. Which is more than Snyder received with his other boondoggles.
Time to give props. Norman had an INCREDIBLE year. He’s quick, fast, can leap, is feisty and has a ton of confidence. In Washington he has a good defensive front that will apply pressure, just not at the level he was used to in Carolina.
The Panthers worked through the NFC East last season and Norman did very well versus the receivers in the division. But did he?
In 2015 Norman gave Dez Bryant all he could handle and won their matchup handily. He got the Giants Beckham so riled up he lost his effectiveness. Should be more of the same in 2016 eh? Not so fast.
Dez was on one leg (foot) and had a JV retread at QB. Odell Beckham Jr. got six catches for 76 yards and a touch but dropped a bomb he was wide open on that would have been the difference in the game. If Norman and Washington is counting on Dez being one legged and Beckham Jr. dropping touchdown passes the young mans’s confidence is going to take a severe hit, right along with Snyder’s wallet.
Norman will compete, he won’t be as effective. WR’s watch film as well.
Washington upgraded their defense yesterday. And I guess when you’ve given away premium draft picks for years your cap space is more flexible than most. Will Norman be worth the ducats? Again, probably not. But the NFC East got a lot tougher this offseason via free agency with the Giants, Philly and Washington all making big moves.
It’s 2016 and the GMen added studs on defense, Philly retooled their roster and Washington added an All Pro to their pass coverage unit after wining the division last year. Ignore them. I’ll put my money on the team that kept their purse strings tight. Big money free agency signings rarely work out let alone pay off. Miami was all the buzz last year. Giants, Philly and Washington this season. Results will be the same.
Three things become clear after the dust settles. First, like I stated yesterday – QB’s get paid in the NFL. So do All-Pro CB’s. Secondly, like Dallas with DeMarco Murray, Carolina made a tough but smart decision in letting Norman walk. And the final item, look for the Cowboys to win the East in 2016.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over