- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Josh Norman posed for photos with a pen and his new contract and smiled ear-to-ear alongside Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan and family members decked out in fresh team gear.

Two days after being cast off by the Carolina Panthers, Norman found a place he was wanted, signing with the Redskins on Friday.

One of the NFL’s top cornerbacks, Norman held out for a long-term deal but never got it from the Panthers, who rescinded the franchise tag that would have paid him $13.9 million next season.

The 28-year-old had a career-high four interceptions, 16 passes defensed and 56 tackles last season for NFC champion Carolina.

Norman posted the hashtag “Hail” with several emojis on his verified Twitter account to announce he’d picked the Redskins over other suitors, and several new teammates congratulated him and welcomed him to Washington.

“Let me be the first to say Welcome to the Family,” defensive back DeAngelo Hall tweeted.

Earlier in the afternoon and Thursday, Washington players used Twitter to try to convince Norman to sign. It only took one visit to make that happen.

“Hell of a job by @Redskins front office,” defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois tweeted.

Norman visited the Redskins’ facility in Ashburn, Virginia, on Friday and left with a new deal. Joining the Redskins was a much happier occasion for Norman than getting shown the door by the Panthers, who wished him well in a terse statement earlier in the week.

“After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a release. “We have decided to rescind the franchise tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA.”

Norman’s signing fills a major need for the Redskins, who had Bashaud Breeland and Will Blackmon and don’t know what they’ll get from Chris Culliver, who tore the ACL in his right knee last season and is still recovering.

During training camp in 2015, Norman got into a scuffle with Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and also got into one during a game with Odell Beckham Jr., which eventually led to the New York Giants receiver being suspended.

Norman bothered opposing quarterbacks, too. According to STATS, he held opponents to the lowest QB rating in the league.

His departure leaves a void for Carolina, which could receive 2017 draft-pick compensation.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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