Panthers Revoke Josh Norman Franchise Tag; Now a Free Agent
Norman became a free agent on Wednesday after the Panthers elected to revoked his franchise tag. Carolina’s original hope was that the team would be able to reach a long-term agreement with the first-team All-Pro, but general manager Dave Gettleman said it became apparent that wouldn’t be possible. The move comes after Norman’s representation was unable to find a trade partner after the Panthers gave them permission to seek one.
The development is surprising, to say the least. The Panthers placed the franchise tag on Norman back in March. He was set to earn $13.95 million for the 2016 season if he and Carolina failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. Had another team signed Norman while he still carried the franchise tag, that team would have had to surrender two first-round picks to the Panthers.
Where Does Carolina Go From Here?
The list of available corners has thinned considerably since the start of free agency six weeks ago, leaving the Panthers to pick through an assortment of older players or smallish corners who don’t fit the team’s profile at the position. Veterans Leon Hall, Antonio Cromartie, and Jerraud Powers are among the corners still unsigned.
Cromartie, 32, tweeted his interest in the Panthers last month, but the feeling apparently wasn’t mutual as there were no known talks between Carolina and the former Jet. Panthers coach Ron Rivera and secondary coach Steve Wilks were in San Diego when Cromartie played for the Chargers. That familiarity could prompt the Panthers to reach out to Cromartie, a four-time Pro Bowler who started 15 games with New York last season.
Possible Destination Spots For Josh Norman
San Francisco, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Miami are the team’s expressing the most interest in free agent cornerback Josh Norman, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 49ers have emerged as the “leading candidate,” according to Yahoo! Sports Charles Robinson.
The Jaguars have the most cap space in the NFL at the moment. The Browns, Titans, and Bears all have a lot of cap room as well (the Panthers now have the fourth-most after clearing the tag, by the way). Curiously, the Steelers are near the bottom of the league in cap space.
The Ravens could also be in the market for a cornerback, and the Raiders might be interested in adding another piece to their puzzle as well. And while the Cowboys are near the bottom of the league in a salary cap, does anyone think we’ll get through this without at least one Dallas rumor?
Maybe the Patriots will kick the tires as well. If the price comes down, it would be a Belichickian move.
(Panthers Revoke Josh Norman Franchise Tag)