Josh Norman owes Odell Beckham half of that five-year, $75 million contract he got from the Washington Redskins in April. The $51 million guaranteed, the most ever for a cornerback, is celebrity and projected ratings pay based on the amount of people that will tune into see what non-football antics Norman has up his sleeve.
Those two times a season that the flamboyant and supremely talented Beckham meets Norman, the tough-talking, self-proclaimed lockdown corner, Washington is hoping to get prime time coverage and be the center of the NFL universe as millions of fans will tune in to see if these two All-Pro’s will engage in another all-time classic, game-long brawl.
Norman’s performance last season was All-Pro worthy, but that Dec. 20th game against Beckham, filled with profanity laced tirades, vicious hand-to-hand combat and physically intimidating play on both sides of the ball, elevated him to a next level of celebrity. He bit the Big Apple and it all worked out for Norman. Now, in the words of Wu Tang’s Cappadonna, he’s going to “milk this cow, the best way he knows how.”
Now, the highest paid cornerback in the NFL, Norman should be more of a spectacle and his theatrics are sure to gain him an even larger following.
And just in case the people in his new home of Washington, D.C. aren’t familiar with him, Norman introduces himself on the cover of ESPN The Magazine this month, talking hella junk and preparing everyone for what should be an entertaining and blood sport NFC East Division war.
Norman rips the Carolina Panthers ("They wanted it to be about the two main guys,Cam and Luke"), defends the Redskins name ("I'm part Native American on both my mom's and my dad's side") and of course proclaims, "I'm the best cornerback on Earth"
He saved his best quotes for his arch nemesis, fueling what is already a Top 5 player rivalry in NFL history.
"Everybody saw what he was," Norman said, referring the game in which Beckham was charged with three personal fouls. "People from around the league were coming up to me afterward and saying, 'He does that crap all the time.' He lost so much respect from people for that little tantrum.
"I've already got a couple people telling me, 'OK, I've got a hit out on him.' It's going to be rough for him this year. And he brought it on himself."
So Norman’s a shot caller and soothsayer now huh? He believes he can predict orchestrated illegal activity against an opponent and it be all good?
Smells like mental warfare at its finest and Norman continuing to push the envelope
(Photo Credit: espn.go.com)
Norman understands that his popularity is based on his ability to sell tickets in his meetings against Beckham. And Beckham has authentic star power that Norman can exploit and feed off and continue to benefit from.
He didn't shut Beckham down, but he did distract ODB enough to throw him off his game. I can’t fault him for knowing what to do with the opportunity. Norman was already known for playing with that chip on his shoulder and having to scrape and scrap for everything he ever got in his football career. So he considers himself a player of the people. The lunch pail guy who shuts down all of the primadonna wide receiver nonsense when he comes to town.
Beckham isn't sweating Norman, but it’s clear Norman is still gunning for Beckham and he’s selling their future confrontations like a heavyweight champ hyping a mega pay-per-view fight. This is like a soap opera already and we know something crazy is going to pop off again this season.
And football is better for it because we all can’t wait to see what happens.