The Washington Redskins turned a lot of heads when they signed All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman a little over a month ago.
The team moved swiftly to bring Norman in-house, knowing he had many other suitors lined up for his services. Washington was looking for someone to come in and give their defense an immediate boost, and they got their man in Norman.
Pro Football Focus' John Breitenbach came up with a list of his "Top 20 Offseason Additions Likely To Make An Immediate Impact," and the No. 1 player on his list is Norman.
Breitenbach explains why he gave Norman the top spot.
"Norman's rights were locked up for the majority of the offseason, but a refusal to sign his franchise tender left his position in Carolina [in a] precarious [situation]," Breitenbach said. "[Panthers] GM Dave Gettleman was unfazed by a shortage of corners, rescinding the tag and allowing Norman to hit the market."
Breitenbach saw good things from Washington's defense last season, but he also saw some deficiencies in their secondary that needed to be addressed in the offseason (which the Redskins clearly did when they signed Norman).
"New Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry improved the defense in 2015, but had an obvious hole in the secondary opposite Bashaud Breeland. Chris Culliver struggled last season, allowing a QB rating of 134.8 (surrendering four touchdowns on 35 targets). Will Blackmon, meanwhile, is much better suited to a more limited role in the slot. He allowed 63 percent of targets to be caught for 264 yards, three touchdowns, and recorded two picks inside in 2015. In contrast, when lined up outside, Blackmon allowed 51 percent of targets to be caught for 418 yards, four touchdowns, and no picks a year ago. Norman's 54.0 QB rating allowed led all NFL corners a year ago; he should be a dramatic upgrade in Washington."
Norman says he's got a lot of "goodies" he's bringing to the table this season. The great thing that's going on right now with Washington's secondary, Norman says, is that everyone's already digging into his sack of treats, which has him optimistic about the future with his new group.
"It's been great," Norman said. "Man they actually care for their job, and that's the biggest thing. Whatever you do you want to have passion for it and these guys do. You can see it, they want to learn and they're willing."