Structure of Josh Norman deal will say plenty

AP

By now, anyone who regularly visits this site (and thank you if you do) knows how the process of reporting on certain player contracts goes. The reporter who gets the scoop returns the favor by passing along generalized information about the value of the contract, which often makes the deal seem much better than it really is.

This offseason, the most glaring example of that dynamic came when multiple reporters rushed to Twitter with ridiculously overstated terms given by the Broncos to tackle Russell Okung. It has has happened in past years with contracts like the one given by the 49ers to quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

The truth is that the truth about all deals eventually comes out. But those who benefit from creating the perception that a deal is worth more than it is don’t care about that, because by the time the truth comes out the inaccurate reports¬†about the deal will have been set like cement or, perhaps more accurately, printed off and laminated by the agents who negotiated the contract.

The issue has become relevant again at this relatively late stage of free agency, with the signing of cornerback Josh Norman by Washington. Reported as a five-year, $75 million deal with $50 million guaranteed, the initial reports have not specified the most important facts about the deal: (1) the amount of the signing bonus; (2) the amount that is fully guaranteed at signing; and (3) the amount that will be paid out over the first three years of the deal.

Those details are critical in this case: (1) because Norman turns 29 in December; (2) because he wanted $16 million per year from Carolina; and (3) because he could have had $13.95 million fully guaranteed in 2016 with the stroke of a pen — plus either a clear shot at the open market in March or $16.74 million fully guaranteed in 2017.

In every case, there’s a temptation to embellish contracts. In this specific case, the temptation is particularly strong, because Norman will want to create the impression that he didn’t make a major mistake by either failing to do the best deal that was available in Carolina or refusing to pounce on the franchise tender.

Eventually, the truth will come out. Chances are that the full guarantee at signing is significantly lower than $50 million. By then, however, few will notice and even fewer will care.

17 responses to “Structure of Josh Norman deal will say plenty

  1. I appreciate the point you’re making, but you guys kind of contribute to the problem you’re describing when “JOSH NORMAN GETS $50 MILLION GUARANTEED” in giant letters on the top of your page, while this level headed article is buried in tiny letters down the list.

  2. The fact that he didn’t continue his tour of teams, with other teams expressing interest leads me to believe his deal will look very good and be close to the 50M guarantee.

    To address your last sentence; Count me in, I will care.

  3. Between Kirk Cousis and Josh Norman there is about 100 Million in contracts, from my understanding of the contracts they are combined for about 70 Million guaranteed

    I would like to think ANY GM Would be able to get something better out of 70 Mil Gur. than a pair of one year wonders.

  4. i hope its not all 50m on the spot the guy is a first rate mouth and 2nd rate skill asking for top place money. none of which he should have

  5. ….Very good points……..I think when the dust settles ,Noorman will have gotten a better deal in regards to asigning bonus and years 1 and 2 payout…..after that it won’t matter because he’ll be a cap casualty. Whatever it is its too much becsuse he was the recieptant of a great pass rush and great defensive coaching in Carolina….won’t have that DC.

  6. Washington has always loved those near/over 30 players. They have since the days of the ‘Over The Hill’ gang.

  7. Will the Redskins have buyer’s remorse when this guy gets exposed as slightly above average all season long this year?

  8. @shaggytoddle

    Umm, it’s like 30 or 35 mill for the two, nowhere near a 100 or even 50 mill. Cousins franchise tag is near 20 mill, and Normans contract is 36.5 mill gaurantted, and without the full details, we can put it between 12-14 mill. So you obviously didn’t have any understanding at all.

  9. All the haters cant wait to say the REDSKINS overpaid. Well has anyone seen the money the Giants spent this off season? How about the Rams and Eagles giving up the house for quarter backs that are not close to being Andrew Luck type players. Seems a lot of other teams wanted to pay Norman the same thing, guess Snyder was running those teams too right?

  10. Wait, the details aren’t out yet?

    But all the armchair genius GMs are telling us how stupid the deal is…..

  11. kst2074 says:
    Apr 23, 2016 9:45 AM
    All the haters cant wait to say the REDSKINS overpaid. Well has anyone seen the money the Giants spent this off season? How about the Rams and Eagles giving up the house for quarter backs that are not close to being Andrew Luck type players. Seems a lot of other teams wanted to pay Norman the same thing, guess Snyder was running those teams too right?
    ———————

    Both of the Eagles and Giants situations have been universally bashed by just about everyone in the country so I don’t really get your beef there. And a lot other teams wanting to pay Norman that money? No. By all accounts, there were only a few teams with serious interest

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