Despite his late entry to the marketplace, new Washington cornerback Josh Norman got paid. A lot of money. More money on a per-year basis than any other cornerback has ever made.
At $15 million per year on a five-year deal, Norman has rocketed past all other corners, including Darrelle Revis at $14.02 million, Patrick Peterson at $14.01 million, and Richard Sherman at $14 million. Norman’s payouts through one year ($20 million), two years ($37 million), and three years ($51 million) also set new high-water marks.
The only metric on which Norman didn’t finish at the top of the stack was full guarantee at signing. Norman will get $36.5 million; Revis got $39 million.
It was indeed a great contract for Norman. And it indeed will make other cornerbacks clamor for more cash of their own, privately or publicly.
Recently, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. listed the top five corners currently in the NFL as Sherman, Revis, Peterson, Harris, and Aqib Talib. So why did Harris omit Norman?
“You’ve got to do it more than one year,” Harris told reporters. “We’ve been guys that have done it five years. I don’t know how many years for Revis — nine or 10 this year. Talib has done it eight years. It’s about being good for a long time, not just one year.”
But one year was enough to get Norman paid more than any of the rest of them. And that will surely make some (or all) of the rest of them want more money.
Revis, Peterson, and Sherman already are getting paid plenty. Harris isn’t; he’s averaging $8.5 million on a deal that runs through 2019. And he’ll make $7 million in 2016 — less than half of Norman’s annual haul.
It’s just a matter of time before other cornerbacks notice what Norman is making and try to get more of their own. If the rest of the elite corners feel the same way Harris does about Norman not doing enough to be considered a top-five corner, the rest of them surely believe they should be making more money than him.