Washington cornerback Josh Norman announced this morning, via MMQB’s Emily Kaplan, that he reached a deal to be a contributor to Fox Sports this season. The agreement stipulates that Norman will make at least 10 on-air appearances, the first of which will occur on Fox’s pre-pregame show, NFL Kickoff, on Sept. 11.
Norman and Brandon Marshall, who has been on Showtime’s Inside the NFL since 2014, are the only active NFL players with this type of arrangement. So surely this must have been cleared through all the proper channels?
However, accompanying the announcement was an odd quote from Norman. “I haven’t told Coach [Jay] Gruden or [defensive coordinator Joe] Barry yet, but I’ll give them a nice shout out on TV,” Norman said. “It’s not at all going to be a distraction. If you keep your focus on you and not anybody else, you’re going to be fine. I’m going to be me on Sunday.”
Gruden seemed taken aback when asked about it at a press conference:
— Alex Parker (@ParkerSports) August 8, 2016
In a since-deleted tweet, Norman castigated a local media member who had responded to the words that were attributed to him:
This is all really strange. A source with knowledge of the situation tells The Big Lead that Fox informed the Washington organization last week that an announcement would be coming this week about Norman’s deal. The source requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Whether or not news of the deal ultimately reached Gruden, who as you can tell in the video might just not have known what was being asked, is unknown unless he addresses it again.
Whatever the case may be, this media deal will amplify the spotlight Norman is under this season. He signed a very large deal this offseason. Last year, as a member of the Carolina Panthers, his matchup with Odell Beckham and the Giants was particularly explosive. This year, there are two of them.