NFC Notes: Norman, Cardinals, 49ers

Cornerback Casey Hayward signed a three-year, $15.3MM deal with the Chargers during the 2016 offseason. While the money was certainly alluring, the 27-year-old acknowledge that he was particularly enamored by the opportunity to be atop his team’s depth chart… an opportunity he didn’t have while playing for the Packers.

“They didn’t offer me at all,” Hayward said of his former team (via Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne). “I felt like I was the best player at the position when I was there. It kind of was like, ‘Dang.’ I’m glad now I’m a L.A. Charger. I got to show my true talents. Got to travel with No. 1s and show people what I can do. I’m glad I’m not there with those guys. I’m glad I’m here.”

Current Redskins cornerback Josh Norman seemingly has similar resentment for his former team, the Panthers. During the 2016 offseason, the Panthers rescinded the franchise tag that was placed on Norman, making him an unrestricted free agent. When the organization made it clear that he wouldn’t be back, the cornerback was already anticipating the team’s downfall.

“I didn’t have to say anything,” he says. “They were thinking it was all D-line. No, it’s not. Who’s going to stop Julio? Who’s going to stop Mike Evans? Who’s going to stop Brandin Cooks?

“The heartbeat of that just went pshhhh. Who brought that whole thing together?”

Lets check out some more notes from around the NFC…

  • Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com passed along (via Twitter) that former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress and former defensive lineman Tommy Kelly will be joining the Cardinals as coaching interns. Kelly actually played in 16 games for Arizona back in 2014.
  • Undrafted rookie safety Chanceller James is an intriguing candidate for a role in the 49ers‘ secondary, writes Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. The Boise State product initially joined that team after an impressive showing during rookie minicamp, and his “size and aggression” could ultimately earn him a spot on the team.
  • The Cowboys special teams unit was rather mediocre last season, but Rick Gosselin of the Dallas News believes undrafted rookie Lucas Wacha could help shore up the squad. The Wyoming product may be a bit undersized, but his “4.58 speed” could be especially useful on special teams, as could his ability to rack up tackles. The Cowboys have a history of developing undrafted rookies into usable players, and Wacha said that’s a big reason why he chose to sign with the organization. “I know that they do work with their free agents,” Wacha said, “but knowing that they had a great team and watching the team continue to grow was the reason I decided to come here. I believe I’m here for a reason. I believe this was the best fit for me.”
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