While fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers were tantalized by the thought of former Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman potentially signing with the black and gold, the team simply didn't have enough salary cap space, and would have to re-structure too many current contracts to make the signing a reality. Instead, Norman is now officially a member of the Washington Redskins, which will impact the 2016 Steelers in more way than one.
While Norman now sits on a 5-year $75 million dollar deal, $50 million in guaranteed money, the Steelers continue on the path they had already set for themselves heading into the 2016 NFL Draft, but the scenery on the route might be a little different.
The Redskins were a team, selecting in the No. 21 position, who were interested in potentially drafting a cornerback. While this is a huge team need for the Steelers, the fact they added Norman would certainly remove their need of drafting an elite cornerback in the first round. Now, when players like Eli Apple, Mackensie Alexander and William Jackson III could potentially be off the board before the Steelers select in the 25th position, the team might have their choice of cornerback prospects -- if they choose to address this position in the first round.
Other than the implications in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft, Norman being a member of the Redskins certainly has ramifications in the 2016 regular season as well. The Steelers play the Redskins in the first Monday Night Football game of the regular season in Week 1, and the matchup of Norman vs. Antonio Brown will be something to watch.
Brown has torched some of the best cornerbacks in the league, only being slowed down by Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. Norman plays a very physical style of football, and is possibly most known for his own 2015 battle with New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., which was the altercation that spawned the new rule in 2016 where if a player receives two types of personal fouls in one game they are immediately ejected from the contest. However, the Norman vs. Brown dynamic will not only be a must-watch competition of world-class talent, but will make Week 1 much more of a challenge for the Steelers going on the road for a prime time game in the nation's capital.
Transactions like Norman to the Redskins can have a ripple effect, but not necessarily for all teams. In this case, the Steelers were impacted not only in projections for the NFL Draft, but also in Week 1 of the 2016 regular season.