Josh Norman downplays risks of bull-jumping

Mike Florio
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Washington cornerback Josh Norman recently took bullfighting to a new level, literally.

Norman went to Pamplona to run with the bulls and he ended up jumping over them. Predictably, he recently downplayed the inherently risky behavior during a visit with Rich Eisen.

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“You can just go outside your front door and get in the car and something happens to you, an accident happens,” Norman said, via the Washington Post. “You were safe. You can even go out there and be in practice, and be on the football field and tear an ACL. You were safe. I can go out there and run with the bulls and I do something exciting, and something that brings out the best in me in my life, in my world, and I win at that, I become victorious at that, and it’s an issue. I don’t understand it. Because it’s something I feel like I’m doing, that’s bringing peace and bringing joy to me, and I’m excited. [Did I] weigh the risks? Of course. I never would’ve done it if I didn’t.”

That’s a flawed assessment, obviously. Yes, freak accidents happen during the course of a low-risk lifestyle. But if Norman would have taken a bullhorn to the ballsack, that wouldn’t have been a freak accident; it would have been a reasonably foreseeable product of a very specific risk he willingly assumed by putting his manhood in the direct vicinity of the business end of a creature with sharp objects growing out of its skull.

And there’s nothing wrong with being a risk taker. But Norman’s risk included $10.8 million in 2019 salary he could have lost, along with $6 million in unearned signing bonus money he could have owed the team.

Norman said he hasn’t heard anything from the team about his foray into bull-jumping, but the reality is that the team has the absolute right under the Standard Player Contract to seek a court order prohibiting him from engaging in such conduct. The fact that Norman apparently did it spontaneously (and the fact that it happened in Spain) made it difficult for the team to take action that would have kept Norman from doing it.

Next year, if Norman is still a member of the organization as the final year of his five-year contract approaches, he may get a cease-and-desist letter long before he gets on a plane and returns to Pamplona.

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