After at least six surgeries, defensive tackle Kendrick Norton has been released from a Miami hospital and is ready to take on life after the NFL.
His health is not the only good news: Now the Miami Dolphins are one step closer to giving him a cushion to help pay for his medical and other expenses down the road.
On Sunday, the Dolphins placed Norton on the reserve/non-football injury list, which makes him ineligible to practice and play this season. Norton’s NFL career effectively ended when he narrowly survived the accident, but using this designation instead of just releasing him allows the Dolphins to pay his 2019 salary if they so choose.
Additionally, Norton’s medical bills will be covered by the league’s health insurance policies, so he won’t have as many out-of-pocket expenses as some in a similar situation might.
Since he was a seventh-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2018, Norton has a base salary of $495,000, which is just $15,000 above league minimum. The Dolphins haven’t yet indicated whether they intend to pay Norton, but it would be an incredibly kind gesture.
NFL teams are not typically known to give away money for free — his salary would count against the cap — but the Dolphins have the seventh-most cap space in the league, and they could use the positive press as well.
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