We learned yesterday that Josh Norman and the Panthers are far apart in discussions on a new, multi-year contract, and if those negotiations do not start to gain traction, Norman could miss voluntary workouts and OTAs and possibly the mandatory June minicamp. But as David Newton of ESPN.com writes, Carolina GM Dave Gettleman downplayed that speculation, saying that he does not expect the Norman situation to create much of a distraction.
Said Gettleman, “Josh is a pro and I don’t think there’ll be any issues. He and I had a great conversation before I put the tag on him. He understands where I’m at. I understand where he’s at. We respect each other’s stance and we’ll just see if we can get [it] done.” Gettleman added that he and head coach Ron Rivera are “very comfortable” regardless of whether Norman signs a long-term deal with the Panthers prior to the July 15 deadline or whether he plays out the 2016 season under the franchise tag.
Now let’s take a look at some more links from around the NFC:
- There was some speculation earlier this month that Calvin Johnson wanted to retire as a free agent rather than under Lions control so that, in case he ever came out of retirement, he would be free to choose his next destination. Of course, Megatron ultimately retired as a member of the Lions, but according to Detroit president Rod Wood, it’s a moot point anyway, as he would be “very surprised” if Johnson ever expressed a desire to return to the NFL (video link via Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press).
- Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll each signed three-year contract extensions in 2014 that take them through the 2016 season, which means they are both entering the final years of their respective deals. As Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com writes, however, Schneider says his contract is a “non-story.” Schneider said, “Pete and I have a great relationship, and we are just in a really good spot. We are just going to keep staying together and keep doing what we are doing and see how long we can make it last.” Kapadia believes the most likely scenario is that both men will sign extensions in the coming months, and we know that the club has already been working on a new deal for Carroll.
- The Seahawks‘ offensive line was the subject of a great deal of criticism in 2015, and it does not look like it will be much better in 2016. Per Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times, Schneider has indicated that if the season started today, last year’s right tackle, Garry Gilliam, would compete with the newly-acquired Bradley Sowell to be the club’s starting left tackle, with another free agent acquisition, J’Marcus Webb, penciled in at right tackle. In addition to losing Russell Okung in free agency, the Seahawks also lost right guard J.R. Sweezy, but Schneider offered no indication that the team would pursue any additional signings or trades to beef up its line.
- Ralpha Vacchiano of The New York Daily News does not believe the Giants are done spending in free agency, and at the very least, he expects the team to pursue a veteran offensive lineman and a veteran safety. He does not, however, believe Big Blue will bring back Rueben Randle or Will Beatty.
- The 49ers have not made a contract offer to free agent wideout Anquan Boldin, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, and while GM Trent Baalke said he has by no means closed the door on a possible reunion, he did not sound especially optimistic that Boldin would return to San Francisco next season. As Baalke said, “A lot of it is going to depend whether he feels and we feel it’s a fit moving forward with what we’re trying to do offensively and what he’s looking for at this stage of his career.” Boldin has already stated his desire to play for a title contender in 2016, and it is currently difficult to imagine the 49ers fitting that description.