ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins' Josh Norman remains confident in his standing as a top cornerback in the NFL; he's also adamant about when his career will end.
"When that happens, you can kiss my ass goodbye. I'm out," Norman said. "I've got so many things going on outside of this. It's almost like a steppingstone, to be honest. I'll be bigger outside of this than I will be inside of it. Believe that."
The question is, where will Norman have the chance to win a Super Bowl in 2019? He carries a $14.5 million salary-cap hit in 2019 and would save Washington $11.5 million in space if released after June 1. The Redskins have approximately $25 million in cap space for next season, so they need to create room.
However, one team source pointed to the Redskins' situation at cornerback as a reason to hang on to him for at least another year. Quinton Dunbar battled a nerve issue that eventually landed him on injured reserve. The Redskins are hopeful about his future, but it would be hard to cut another starting cornerback while waiting to see how well Dunbar has recovered.
Also, the source said, if they cut Norman, they would need to find a good cornerback to replace him, so any savings might be minimal in the end. Norman remains Washington's top cornerback and finished this season with three interceptions and three forced fumbles -- the most big plays he has made with the Redskins since signing with them after the 2015 season.
"It's one of my best seasons yet," Norman said, "and we don't grow on trees. So we'll see what happens."
All of that helps him deal with a third straight nonplayoff season.
"Oh yeah, because this is all other guys have is just this," he said. "I mean, when you're multifaceted and have different areas and things you can do, and this is just one of those things, then you take this with a grain of salt. Of course I'm pissed, I'm upset, but what can I do about it? Nothing. I can't change any of this right now. It's all in the past."
But, Norman said, what's not in the past is where he feels he ranks among cornerbacks. He said he should still be considered among the best.