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Josh Norman embraces new status as target, says he 'can take it'

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Norman says he only met with Redskins before signing (1:10)

Josh Norman says he was "held hostage" by the Redskins with their out of this world pitch and explains why he had to sign with Washington. (1:10)

ASHBURN, Va. -- When Washington Redskins corner Josh Norman signed his new contract in April, he knew life would change. He went from scrappy underdog to a moving target.

Ever since Norman signed a five-year, $15 million-a-year deal with the Redskins, he has been knocked by other players -- New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Arizona Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson -- and roasted by fans anytime video of him getting beat in practice surfaces. And his comments now are turned into headlines.

"I can take it," Norman said. "I'm a big boy. I've got some big shoes. ... If I can have that unique set of skills to fend off everything people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful.

"When you get a deal like that, everything comes with it. Everything is magnified times 10. You just have to be [careful] of that."

Some of this stems from the contract -- he's the NFL's highest-paid corner. Some of it has been the result of his own words. In an ESPN The Magazine article, for example, Norman took a jab at Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas, who caught one pass for 8 yards in the Super Bowl win over Norman's Carolina Panthers.

"I don't know what he was out there for," Norman said in the article. "He was supposed to be an all-world guy and I shut him down."

Thomas replied to Norman via Twitter:

Norman declined to answer specific questions about the article on Tuesday.

Beckham told GQ Magazine that Norman was relevant only because of him. Peterson tweeted out a video of Norman getting beat in practice.

"Once I was the underdog and I had to fight my way to the top and I had to drive, drive, drive and continue to work hard," Norman said. "I'm no longer the underdog. ... This is a new realm for me."

He'll also be featured on the Fox pregame show most Sundays this season.

A year ago at this time he was an improving corner on a very good Carolina defense. Now he's a target.

"I think it's crazy," Norman said. "I would never dream that in a million years."