During this past offseason, Josh Norman abruptly had his franchise tag pulled and quickly found big money on the open market from the Washington Redskins. Barring an unexpected late-career reunion, his time with the Carolina Panthers is done.
Towards the end of his final season with the Panthers, Norman had a highly publicized war of words with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. that culminated in a violent back-and-forth in their Week 15 matchup. This offseason has done nothing to quell that rivalry, with Norman moving into Beckham’s division. Now, a recent book excerpt is adding more fuel to the flames.
I don’t care for the guy at all. … Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a good player or whatever, but he’s not what he thinks he is. If you hit guys like that, if you completely jam them and shake them up, they can’t relate to that. So they start making excuses like, ‘Oh, he touched me.’ They don’t know how to respond because they never got hit like that. So me, every time I see him, I’m going to hit him in the mouth. I don’t care. Until he stops crying and b—-ing.
Norman and Beckham will now face off against one another twice a year in the regular season. And as both sides continue to express genuine disdain for one another, this has the makings of one of the NFL’s all-time great individual rivalries.
Meanwhile, the Panthers will look to replace Norman’s presence in their secondary with young, untested talent. Fowler’s book documents the franchise’s development into a yearly playoff contender from 2013 onward.