Josh Norman hasn’t been very good on the field for the Redskins this season, but apparently he’s been even worse in the Washington locker room.
Most people assumed the Redskins benched Josh Norman due to his poor performance on the field last week. Evidently that wasn’t the case. The highly paid cornerback was actually taken off the field because he disrespected Jay Gruden in the locker room.
Reports emanating from Washington claim there was an incident between Norman and Gruden at halftime of the team’s 43-19 loss to the Saints. Sources claim Norman put his headphones on while his head coach was addressing the team at the half. Predictably, that didn’t go over well with Gruden and his coaching staff.
Gruden told Norman to remove the headphones and his cornerback either ignored the directive or didn’t hear it. Either way, his coach was allegedly forced to remove the headphones himself. Subsequently, Gruden made the decision to leave Norman on the bench when the second half began.
Per reports, this was not an isolated incident. Multiple members of the Redskins coaching staff have become irritated with Norman’s attitude. Unfortunately, Washington is almost certainly stuck with the controversial quarterback for the foreseeable future. If the team elected to cut Norman this season they’d suffer from over $23 million in dead cap.
Ironically, the Redskins host Norman’s old team on Sunday. The cornerback has gone on record with his affinity for his time in Carolina. It’s caused many people to wonder whether or not he’s angling for a return to Charlotte when his contract with the Redskins is over. At this point, Washington officials would be happy to facilitate a reunion between the two sides.
What Gruden and company need to do now is to get Norman in line. He isn’t one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL at this stage in his career, but he still has the talent to be a quality starter. The Redskins can’t afford to sacrifice a player with his kind of talent given their current struggles. Gruden needs Norman in the fold if he’s going to succeed as Washington’s head coach.
Getting Norman in line is much easier said than done. It’s going to be a challenge for the Redskins’ coaching staff during the remaining years of the cornerback’s contract. It may not seem like it’s worth the hassle, but Washington doesn’t have another realistic choice.