The Panthers locked up star linebacker Luke Kuechly to a long-term deal Thursday, but it doesn’t appear that teammate and fellow defensive linchpin Josh Norman will receive similar treatment. Negotiations between the Panthers and the cornerback stalled this week, reports Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer. Because general manager Dave Gettleman doesn’t negotiate new deals during the season, Norman looks poised to play out 2015 as a contract year.
Norman, whom the Panthers took in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, is coming off a season in which he totaled 48 tackles and a career-best two interceptions. More impressively, Norman held opposing quarterbacks to a paltry 53.2 rating when they attacked him, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). That ranked fourth out of the 70 corners who played at least 50 percent of their teams’ defensive snaps in 2014.
Here’s more from around the NFL:
- San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer set a Friday deadline for the city and the Chargers to agree on a new stadium that would keep the team from heading to Los Angeles next year. The two sides failed to meet it, according to Elliot Spagat of The Associated Press. That means there won’t be time for a measure to be put to voters on a Jan. 12 ballot, which Faulconer wanted. It seems, then, that the Chargers’ potential relocation to L.A. is becoming likelier.
- The Browns finished last season in a tie for the league’s third-lowest yards-per-carry average, and they’re still without an obvious solution at running back. Current starter Isiah Crowell, who averaged 4.1 per carry and scored eight touchdowns in 2014, thinks he can fill the role. “I’m ready,” he said, according to Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “I always knew I had what it takes.” Offensive coordinator John DeFilippo added, “Nothing has shown to me that Crow can’t be that workhorse for us.”
- Like Cleveland, the Cowboys also lack a top-end running back. They had the league’s rushing champion last season in DeMarco Murray, but he signed with Philadelphia in the offseason. So, Dallas will try to replace him with a committee consisting of Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and Christine Michael. Owner Jerry Jones is optimistic about the quartet. “If they are healthy, I will take the skill and what they can bring to our offense,” he said, per Eric Prisbell of USA Today.
- Rookie free agent quarterback Phillip Sims will work out for the Seahawks on Monday, reports ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Simms, whom NFC West rival Arizona released last week, went undrafted out of Winston-Salem State this year.