When it comes to trash talk and general off-the-field sniping in good fun, the NFL has a long way to go to catch up to the NBA.
But Washington cornerback Josh Norman is one player who can help bridge the divide.
Especially when you bring up his nemesis, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman.
‘I think we need to put him on salary’
If you recall, Norman was coming off an All-Pro 2015 season with the Carolina Panthers when Gettleman, who was the Panthers’ GM, pulled the franchise tag he had placed on Norman just weeks earlier.
The move made Norman a free agent immediately, and he signed with Washington.
Norman has said he felt stabbed in the back by Gettleman, and he hasn’t quite let go of his bad feelings.
Appearing on “The Rich Eisen Show” this week, Norman was asked about the common thread that led to him now being teammates with safety Landon Collins and rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
After first seeming unsure of where Eisen was going, Eisen teed things up for the 31-year-old.
“What I’m driving at is, who’s responsible, do you think, to put all three of you in Washington D.C.?” Eisen said. “Who’s the one who let you walk from Carolina and Landon Collins from the Giants and then drafted Daniel Jones instead of Haskins?”
“Oh my gosh, don’t even do that!” Norman said, finally following Eisen’s lead.
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) May 15, 2019
“I think we need to put him on salary,” Norman joked. “We need to put him on salary. I mean, they need to protect Dave Gettleman at all costs in New York, for sure. ... He’s winning for us.”
Asked about Haskins, Washington’s first-round draft pick and hopeful franchise quarterback, Norman gushed over him.
“He’s special. He’s special. That unit they have, those guys they brought in this year [in the draft] — cream-of-the-crop guys,” Norman said. “I think this is probably one of the best drafts we’ve had in a very long time.
“It’s important to get the right guys in the building; not just any guys, but the right guys.”
Norman said he understood Haskins shaking his head on the first night of the draft, when he saw Jones drafted ahead of him, saying players have “a sense of ego” and want to prove themselves.
Fred Smoot thinks it’s time for Norman to go
While Norman was yukking it up and throwing a little shade at Gettleman, retired Washington cornerback Fred Smoot thinks it’s time for the franchise to send Norman packing.
Smoot told NBC Sports Washington on Thursday that Norman is being paid like an elite corner (his base salary this season is $11 million) but not playing like one.
“You have to ask yourself, ‘Where am I expendable?’” Smoot said. “I'm going to look at that big cap number that Josh Norman has and that's going to make me want to release him.”
ProFootballFocus graded Norman’s 2018 season at 68.9 (out of 100), which it considers above average.
While coach Jay Gruden has said this offseason he wants more from Norman, Smoot doesn’t even want to give him that chance.
“You wouldn’t go go to a used car lot and try to pay new car prices, would you?” he said. “At the end of the day, for what we pay for this guy, we're not getting that return on that investment. I'm sorry, we paid too much for the car, it's time we trade it back in.”
But Washington isn’t exactly loaded at corner, so cutting Norman would likely hurt more than it would help.
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