Prior to 2006, June 1 had significant meaning on the NFL calendar. Now, it’s mostly an afterthought.
This year, there’s a real question as to whether June 1 could become a thing again.
The folks at NBCSportsWashington.com have raised the question of whether Washington cornerback Josh Norman could become a post-June 1 cap casualty. The move would spread the cap consequences over two years, with $3 million counting against the salary cap this year and $3 million counting against the cap in 2020. Cutting Norman also would dump $11.5 million in salary and per-game roster bonuses, creating a net cap gain of $8.5 million this year.
But here’s why it would be a surprise if it happens on June 2 or shortly thereafter: Washington could have cut Norman with a post-June 1 designation before the offseason program, avoiding the risk that he’d suffer an injury during pre-preseason workouts that would put the team on the hook for the full amount of his 2019 salary of $11 million.
That said, Washington may have wanted to observe Norman during the offseason program before making a decision regarding his future with the team.
It’s also possible that Washington will eventually squeeze Norman to take less money, knowing that if/when they try to drop his pay to, for example, $7 million, Norman likely won’t be able to get as much or more from another team. Plenty of teams have made this move plenty of times, and it could be what Washington plans to do with Norman.
More than three years after signing a contract worth $15 million per year from inception, Norman continues to have the best contract among all cornerbacks. The fact that no one has caught Norman arguably makes him more vulnerable to getting squeezed.
Earlier this month, former Washington cornerback Fred Smoot argued that the team should cut Norman now. After June 1, there’s no longer any reason to wait, if that’s what Washington plans to do.