Storm Norton isn’t the first name that springs to mind for a stalwart offensive lineman. Over his six-year career, however, Norton has picked up skills with several notable teams – perhaps most notably, a short-lived spell at XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats.
The 6’7” behemoth announced today that he had penned a one-year contract with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints’ narrowly missed out on the playoffs last season in a poor NFC South division – finishing the season with a 7-10 record and looking especially ragged in the trenches.
Whether you’re a die-hard Saints fan or simply curious about this rags-to-riches football star, read on to learn more about Storm Norton’s journey to The Big Easy. (If you want to roll back the years, check out our Tommy Stevens analysis).
Storm Norton’s Football Career So Far
Storm Norton started to gain traction at college, playing for the University of Toledo from 2013 to 2016. During his time at Toledo, Norton played in 51 games, starting in 49. A string of sturdy performances saw Norton named in the All-MAC (Mid-American Conference) first team in his senior year.
Following college, Norton entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2017 – signing with the Detroit Lions. Norton spent his rookie season on the practice squad, a common theme throughout his early professional career.
After being waived in April 2020, Norton spent less than a month on the Arizona Cardinals practice squad before being picked up by the Minnesota Vikings. Norton would play just three snaps at the Vikings before shipping over to the Los Angeles Charges for another healthy dose of practice squad-ing.
When the XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats came calling, Storm Norton leapt at the opportunity of a career revival. The OT started in all five games for the Wildcats at left tackle, tasked with protecting quarterback Josh Johnson. Despite the XFL’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norton’s performance in the league helped earn him a spot on the Chargers’ practice squad on April 14, 2020 – just four days after the XFL suspended operations.
Norton finally enjoyed a sustained period of game time with the Chargers over the next three seasons – appearing in 35 games with 18 starts. The Ohio native dominated at right tackle last year on a Chargers’ offence that ranked fourth in the NFL for net yards per game.
What Storm Norton Offers The Saints
The 6’7” beast adds immediate size to an injury-ridden offensive line. Norton’s towering presence ties with fellow OTs, Trevor Penning and Landon Young, as the tallest players on the Saints’ roster. Considering the team’s rampant pass protection issues at the start of the 2022 season, Norton has been added to bolster a side that allowed 38 sacks.
Norton is also a capable run blocker, able to generate significant push and create running lanes for newly signed running back, Jamaal Williams. This versatility allows him to play multiple positions on the offensive line, making him a valuable and flexible asset in a transitioning team.
Storm Norton’s Personal Life And Net Worth
Although the exact earnings of Storm Norton is unknown, he has earned a considerable amount of money by jumping across the NFL and XFL. According to reports, the average net worth of NFL players is around $2 million, and given Norton’s experience and potential, it is likely that he falls within this range.
The 28-year-old is married to wife, Breanna. His wife spoke with to the Better Half Podcast in 2020, opening up on the unseen struggles of Norton’s journeyman lifestyle – enduring the disruption of moving nine times in over three years.
The OT’s focus appears solely centred on his football career, suggested by the private nature of his personal life. Such off-field discipline is a must for a team like the Saints who find themselves amidst a lengthy rebuild.
Storm To Settle In Louisiana?
Simply put, Storm Norton’s journey to the Saints has been an exhausting grind for the Toledo native. An impressive mental determination has seen the tackle bide his time on the NFL side-lines before breaing out in the XFL and enjoying hard-earned playing time at the highest level.
As he enters the next phase of his career with the New Orleans Saints, his physical attributes, versatility, and commitment to the game will undoubtedly serve him well. With Derek Carr at the helm and Norton doing the dirty work in the trenches, big things seem to be on the horizon for The Big Easy faithful.
What are your thoughts on Storm Norton and his career? Do you think he has what it takes to become a key player on the Saints’ offensive line? We would love to hear your opinions and insights. Feel free to share your comments and join the conversation.