You learn something new everyday. Yesterday, Washington Head Coach Jay Gruden learned that his new star cornerback Josh Norman has a side gig as an NFL contributor for the Fox NFL Kickoff pregame show hosted by some guy named Colin Cowherd (is that the guy’s name? Cowherd?).
Norman, who exploded into the mainstream NFL conversation last year as a shutdown corner on the Panthers Super Bowl team, also proved to be quick with a great soundbite. His MMA style matchup with Giants wideout Odell Beckham was one of the most entertaining one-on-one match ups in the NFL last season.
Norman parlayed his standout season into a massive free agent deal with the Redskins that made him the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. Like many modern athletes, Norman also has designs on marketing himself outside off the field.
He informed Washington executives about his plans to moonlight as a media talking head, but apparently Gruden never got the memo from the organizational higher ups. When he was asked about Norman’s side gig at a training camp press conference, he had no clue what the reporter was talking about. Awkward.
— Alex Parker (@ParkerSports) August 8, 2016
It’s probably not the best way for Norman to endear himself to his new team, but the idea of an NFL player contributing to an NFL studio show isn’t unprecedented. New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall was a weekly co-host of the Inside the NFL on Showtime, and current athletes often serve as guest contributors to blogs to provide an active player’s perspective.
According to Colin, Norman’s contribution to the show will be limited to remote video segments and an in-studio appearance during the Redskins bye week.
In reality, Norman’s on field production as the highest paid cornerback in the league will dictate how his media role is perceived publicly. If he struggles this season it won’t take long for critics to point to his side job as a distraction. If he plays up to his contract people will happily overlook it.