Josh Norman's important Bills connection leads to one-year deal with Buffalo

Cornerback Josh Norman has become one of the NFL’s more recognizable players, though he only has one Pro Bowl season.

That one career year came in 2015 with the Carolina Panthers. Sean McDermott was his defensive coordinator.

That connection came in handy when Norman was cut by the Washington Redskins. Norman agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with the Bills, coached by McDermott, according NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. The deal can be worth up to $8 million with incentives.

Now the Bills can see if they can recapture Norman’s Panthers production.

Josh Norman struggled last season

Norman was a very good cornerback for Carolina, peaking with that 2015 season that nearly got him NFL defensive player of the year and helped the Panthers to a 15-1 record and NFC championship. Norman was named first-team All-Pro.

The outspoken Norman became a face of the NFL, and when the Panthers surprisingly rescinded the franchise tag from him the next offseason, he cashed in with a five-year, $75 million deal with Washington. He had his ups and downs there, eventually crashing in 2019. He was benched and looked like a 32-year-old cornerback.

It was no surprise when he was cut, and that allowed him to visit with teams before free agency began. The Bills made sense.

Former Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman agreed to a deal with the Bills. (AP Photo/Jason E. Miczek)

Can Norman have a revival?

McDermott was Norman’s coordinator for all four of his seasons with Carolina. If anyone can turn Norman’s career back around, it’s McDermott and the Bills.

Buffalo has a fine defense filled with a lot of young talent. Norman can battle for a spot opposite Tre’Davious White, one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. If the Bills can unlock another good season out of Norman, it would help a defense that should be among the AFC’s best this season.

It’s not the splash move for Buffalo that it would have been four seasons ago. But maybe a familiar face and scheme will revive Norman.

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