By now it’s well known thanks to Kevin Sheehan that Redskins cornerback Josh Norman was benched to start the second half Monday night against New Orleans for wearing headphones while head coach Jay Gruden and his staff addressed the team. Building off that report, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added details to the tumultuous situation in the locker room.
According to Rapoport, Gruden noticed Norman had his back turned with his headphones on as Gruden attempted to address the team that was trailing the Saints 26-13. Gruden walked over to Norman and tore the headphones off the cornerback’s head. That prompted Norman to walk away out of apparent frustration and/or embarrassment.
Gruden then reportedly called after Norman, saying “If you keep walking, you’re not going to start the second half.”
From @gmfb Weekend: #Redskins coach Jay Gruden and CB Josh Norman have met about the halftime situation and put it behind them. But building off reporting from @kevinsheehanDC, what happened inside the locker room? pic.twitter.com/BBzXvcRleX
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 14, 2018
Norman and Gruden have met to bury the hatchet over the locker room incident according to Rapoport, and the two have not wasted much time talking about the incident as the Redskins prepare to take on Norman’s former team the Carolina Panthers Sunday.
However, the incident is the latest in an underwhelming stay in D.C. for Norman. Once viewed as the best shutdown cornerback in the NFL, he has not been as spectacular as he was in Carolina. He has just three interceptions in 36 games with the Redskins, and two of those interceptions came in a Week 16 game in 2016, the last game he recorded an interception.
Moving forward, Norman accounts for a $30 million salary cap hit between 2019 and 2020 the final two seasons of his five-year, $75 million deal he signed with the Redskins in 2016. However, the Redskins could save $21 million of salary cap space over those two seasons by releasing the cornerback following this season.