Josh Norman Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent

The Panthers announced that they have rescinded the franchise tag from Josh Norman, making him an unrestricted free agent. The move comes as an absolute shock as Norman is regarded as one of the league’s top cornerbacks. With Norman off the books, the Panthers now have $13.952MM in cap room that they wouldn’t have had otherwise."<strong

After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable,” GM Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well.”

The Panthers reportedly were not interested in meeting Norman‘s asking price of roughly $15-16MM. However, Carolina was said to be fine with letting Norman play out the year under the franchise tag, which, at nearly $14MM, would have paid him like an elite corner.The two sides have not closed the gap in recent weeks and recently Norman informed the Panthers that he would not be in attendance for their conditioning program.

Norman was looking to be paid in excess of $16MM per year, much like the first three years of Darrelle Revis‘ extension, Ian Rapoport of tweets. The Panthers were not on board with that, however, and cut him loose instead.

Now, Norman hits the open market and while some teams are tapped out, other teams are flush with cap space. That list of teams includes the 49ers and, as Adam Schefter of tweets, the idea of playing in California appeals to Norman. The Rams, Bears, Jaguars, and Titans also have room to spend.

Norman, 28, enjoyed a career-year in 2015 as he was named to the All Pro first team and selected for his first Pro Bowl. After producing career highs in both interceptions (four) and passes defensed (18), Norman is in great position as he demands a multi-year payday. Norman was well-regarded by advanced metrics as well, finishing as the league’s 12th-best corner by Pro Football Focus’ grades.

Currently, Revis stands as the NFL’s highest paid cornerback after signing a $70.12MM contract that includes a whopping $39MM guaranteed. That deal edged out Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals who got a $70.05MM deal with $16.25MM guaranteed and Seahawks corner Richard Sherman, who inked a $56MM deal ($12.43MM guaranteed) to stay in Seattle. Trumaine Johnson accepted his franchise tender earlier this month to become the fourth-highest paid corner in the NFL, but Norman has had his sights set on a lucrative long-term deal instead. Now, he’ll be looking into long-term pacts elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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41 comments on “Josh Norman Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent

  1. What team will he sign for?

  2. bluejaysfan55


  3. txphi_991

    Dallas has the cap space and the need for an elite corner

    • txphi_991

      Correction, have the cap space by cutting Brandon Carr

      • No, Dallas has just enough to sign their Draft Picks. Cutting BC saves 9 M post June 1. You need like 6M + to sign draft picks.

    • No cap space in big D srry

    • jtworsley

      Dallas has a smudge under $8M in cap space. He wasn’t willing to play for $14M for a team who went to the super bowl why would he take significant less for a team picking fourth next week?

  4. aarongill

    Niners need to jump on this!

    • UnanymousSuperBowler

      I doubt the niners have the space

      • Thronson5

        They have the space and they have the most money in the NFL lol but our GM is determined for us to suck so he won’t pursue is my guess

      • 49ers have 50 million plus in space lol.

        • Thronson5

          Exactly lol

        • UnanymousSuperBowler

          Jags have highest cap space in league at over 54 mil while 49ers have just over 50 mil

      • Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong. The 49ers have somewhere in the neighborhood of $54.5 million dollars in cap space, although I doubt he’s going to go for playing for the 49ers given their current situation of ineptitude. Speaking of ineptitude, I swear sometimes people just spout off at the mouth without having a clue of what they’re talking about …

    • dorfmac

      I can’t imagine why any player in their right mind, especially someone who could basically have his choice of teams, would consider playing for the Niners given their current administration.

      I could see it if the alternative to San Fran was Cleveland, or just an unappealing location like Minnesota, but Norman could go almost anywhere with cap space available.

  5. dwilson10

    I wish Pittsburgh could find a way to sign him

    • UnanymousSuperBowler

      Pittsburgh is tight in cap space im sure

  6. Phillip Dobrensky

    How about the Eagles since they just gave up a boat load of picks to move up to 2 but have cap space.

  7. UnanymousSuperBowler

    He will be asking for a big price, and I beleive the jags still have the biggest cap space so they might go for this, i doubt any other team can afford him if they want to draft as well

  8. Jags, 49ers, Browns. Man how does last place taste to Norman?

    • You’re an idiot and we are all dumber for having read your comment… The Jags are the breakout team of 2016

      • Gogerty

        Hilarious Billy Madison reference, damn good point on the Jags.

        • Clutchp

          I love how he mentioned the Jags and they didn’t even finish last in their division last year….

        • UnanymousSuperBowler

          He made a very bad point on that considering that the whole point of adding free agents is to turn a team into a good one, so one player sometimes can make a terrible team a great one, but thats rare and norman definitely is not the case

      • You’re right ill pre-order my Jags Super Bowl Champs t-shirt now. Thats just a salty homer. 8-8 was their best record since 2008. I think they undoubtably belong in the list of scrubs with cap space.

  9. Steven

    If he plays in Cali it will be with the Raiders. He wants to go on a team that’s on the rise and willing to compete for a championship and out of all the teams like SF Jacksonville Titans and Philly the Raiders have more to offer then any of those teams.

    • UnanymousSuperBowler

      The raiders might focus more on the draft so they can keep cap space while adding new guys to replace woodson

  10. weekapaug09

    Someone will overpay. As a panthers fan I was hoping to get one more year of his prime. But glad we didn’t cave and throw a ton of money at someone who is (at least right now) pretty much a one year wonder.

  11. Priggs89

    Da Bears

  12. realfootballfan

    It’s always funny to me to even see fans of a team call players like him a 1-year wonder. He’s been good for at least 3 years now. Just because he wasn’t getting a lot of shine from it doesn’t mean he wasn’t good. Also, he needs to pick his next team wisely because he is a system corner. Players like Byron Maxwell and Asomugha from the Raiders back in the day made that fatal flaw of going somewhere for big money but not fitting in with what the new team was asking them to do. In Asomugha’s case, he never bounced back.

    • weekapaug09

      Maybe one year wonder is harsh but he wants to be paid like someone with a 3-5 year track record of excellence. He was a treat to watch and fantastic last year but I side with the team. He’s 28 and just turned in his first year as an elite corner. I just doubt he’ll end up being worth the contract he thinks he deserves.

  13. yes yes yes

    Why not sign and trade?

    • Sign at 16 mil….no team takes that

      • Bazingaa

        Might at the franchise tag number

    • db2259

      This isn’t the NBA

  14. hill
    daren hill

    What a shock.

    Whose got an ascending D, cap space and a need at CB? I like the Jax idea personally.

  15. Giants51

    Norman is a greedy ass…… Good sit out the season…….

  16. UnanymousSuperBowler

    Let me remind the niner fans all over this thread seaction that they are tied with the browns with the most draft picks this year and they have over ten, so when you say they have the cap for norman you have to consider how much they have to pay for the draft picks as well, dont be naïve by automatically assuming 54 mil means they can afford norman just because you are a fan, a little advice for you stubborn fans who dont listen to reason just because you went to a super bowl recently (and lost…oh did i say that out loud?)

    • UnanymousSuperBowler

      And by recent super bowl i dont mean a few months ago for the panther fans about to blow up on this with replies

    • aarongill

      Signing the draft picks won’t cost that much. At most it would cost like 7 million at the MOST. 15 mill to Norman still with cap space.

      • TheMichigan

        Exactly, I would say, Maximum 12 mil for 10 draft picks. Even at extremes they would still have the cap space to sign Norman if they wanted too, I honestly think he would be a better fit in Jacksonville considering they have “less picks” but also they have the room for it and are in need of that #1 corner

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