Norman previously earned his stripes under Rivera in Carolina, where he went from fifth-round pick to Pro Bowler in three years. After the Panthers pulled the franchise tag, Norman signed a big-money deal in 2016.
The play of the 32-year-old has waned in recent seasons, as it does for most corners when Father Time cuts their legs out. Norman struggled mightily in 2019 and was discarded by the previous staff. He played just 10 snaps in the Redskins' final six games, per Next Gen Stats.
There was some thought that perhaps reuniting with Rivera could have rejuvenated the veteran corner. But with Norman due $12.5 million in 2020, the Redskins weren't willing to shell out that kind of cash for an aging CB. Washington will save all $12.5 million but jettisoning Norman, with $3 million in dead money.
Given his age, recent play and cost, it's a move that makes sense for Washington, even with Norman's ties to Rivera.
Being released on Feb. 14 might not help Norman's Valentine's Day celebration, but it should give him a jump on finding a new home before all the other pending free agents hit the open market.