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Bove: Gambling on Josh Norman is worth the risk for the Bills

Gambling on Josh Norman is worth the risk for the Bills
Posted at 1:06 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 13:06:23-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. [WKBW] — Whenever the reward greatly outweighs the risk, it’s hard to be anything but optimistic.

Almost immediately after the news broke that Josh Norman is reportedly signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the Bills, there was tons of criticism. While his play these last few years has shown he’s not the player he once was, it’s important to remember it’s just a one year deal.

Norman has struggled since leaving Carolina, but clearly Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane think his career can be revitalized. Who are we to think they’re wrong? Their track record proves otherwise.

Josh Norman’s best year came with McDermott in Carolina. In 2015, Norman was named an All-Pro. He then signed a massive deal with Washington and never lived up to the expectations. Halfway through the 2019 season, Norman was benched. He was the released by the team in February, making him a free agent.

According to several reports, Norman traveled to Orchard Park and met with the front office and coaching staff last month. So this move doesn’t come as a surprise, especially when you consider how many former players from Carolina Beane and McDermott have brought to Buffalo.

Upgrading the second cornerback position across from Tre’Davious White was a point of emphasis this offseason and if Norman can be half the player he once was, this moves accomplishes that.

If he can’t, the Bills are only on the hook for $6 million, and that’s if he even makes the team. The Bills also still have Levi Wallace, who has handled the starting responsibilities for much of the last two seasons.

This addition won’t solidify the cornerback position and Norman still has much to prove. But if he can’t return to form the move doesn’t really hurt the Bills.

If we have learned anything during McDermott’s tenure it’s that the Bills love healthy competition. Perhaps this signing motivates Wallace to take his game to the next level. At the very least it’s an opportunity for Norman to work with the same guy who coached him to the best year of his career.

There’s no reason to bash this deal and if it doesn’t work out then who cares. When you have $90 million in cap space and almost all your starters returning on defense, you have the luxury of taking calculated risks. Remember, scared money don’t make money.

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