Josh Norman, Panthers Remain Far Apart On Deal

The Panthers applied the franchise tag to Josh Norman weeks ago, but the standout cornerback is in no rush to ink the one-year, $13.952MM tender. The two sides have until July 15th to hammer out a long-term deal, but there is still a significant chasm between them, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes. If things do not improve, he could miss the voluntary workouts and OTAs and possibly the mandatory June minicamp, Person writes. Josh Norman (Vertical)

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.

Norman is now seeking a deal that will make him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL, Person writes, and that could mean demands of an average annual value in the $14-16MM range. Currently, Darrelle 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. After that, Trumaine Johnson and Norman are slated to be tied as the fourth-highest paid corners in the NFL in 2016. Johnson accepted his franchise tender earlier this month, but Norman appears intent on forcing the Panthers into giving him a long-term deal instead.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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