-- Kevin Van Valkenburg's profile of new Redskins' cornerback Josh Norman is a look at a man on top of the football world -- who, in fact, calls himself "the best cornerback on earth" -- but who might somehow still see himself as lacking in proper respect. The 28-year-old was a first-team All-Pro and held opposing quarterbacks to the lowest ratings of any corner last year. Then the Carolina Panthers, inexplicably to some, dumped him in the offseason, saying the two sides couldn't work out a long-term deal. The Redskins promptly scooped him up with a five-year, $75 million deal. During two days in Paris, Norman had plenty to say, about the Panthers, Odell Beckham Jr., Roger Goodell and others. Here are five things to know about Norman:
1. Norman has no regrets for his actions in a near brawl with Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in December. The two players combined for five personal fouls, and Beckham was suspended for his actions. The two head-butted, slapped and body-slammed through much of the game. In the third quarter, Beckham sprinted downfield, ran at Norman's back and put his helmet in Norman's ear. Norman says Beckham will be wearing a target this year: "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."
2. He says that before he was drafted, the Giants' front office angered him with probing interview questions about his character.?They were "trying to get me to admit that I wouldn't listen to coaching," Norman says. "That I was a dirtbag. They kept asking me the same question, wanting me to admit to something I didn't do. I ended up breaking down in the room." He stormed out and called his agent in tears, he says. "I don't ever want to go there," Norman told him. "Ever. I'd rather play against them." Now, he'll face them twice a year.
3. He has no respect for Eagles QB Sam Bradford, whom he'll also see twice a year in the NFC East. "Have you ever once been one of the top 20 quarterbacks in the league?" he says of Bradford. "Not that I remember -- and you want more money? I can't wait to play him twice a year."
4. He felt stifled in Carolina, where buttoned-up team management wanted him to tone down his trash-talk, and he reluctantly complied. He wonders if his brashness played into the Panthers' eventual decision to part ways. "They kind of shunned me," he says. "They turned down a lot of stuff for me, interviews, sponsorship deals, stuff I didn't even know about. They wanted it to be about the two main guys, Cam [Newton] and Luke [Kuechly]."
5. He has little good to say about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whom he calls "straight horrible." "I get that he makes the owners money, but literally anyone could do that," Norman says. "A dog could. He's a dog in a suit." He has similar low regard for players' union rep DeMaurice Smith. He calls the league "a dictatorship, and DeMaurice is in cahoots with those guys."