In an unexpected turn of events, the Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag on All-Pro CB Josh Norman instantly making him an unrestricted free-agent.
The move was made because the two sides couldn’t agree on a long-term deal, while Norman was reluctant to sign the one-year deal. A contract that fully guaranteed $13.952 million for the upcoming 2016 season, Norman and the Panthers have now officially parted ways as Norman will now shop his services to other NFL teams starting with Washington on Friday.
Josh Norman’s deal, when complete, expected be between $14 to $15 MIL per year, per sources. 5-year deals being discussed with Wash and SF.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2016
According to a source via ESPN, Norman was seeking a deal around $15-$16 million per season while the Panthers were well below that asking price coming in at $11 million.
“After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable,” Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “We have decided to rescind the franchise tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well.”
I know many #49ers fans want CB Josh Norman but I would rather trade for NYJ DE Muhammad Wilkerson. A good DL makes DBs jobs easier.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) April 21, 2016
Do you want the #49ers to sign CB Josh Norman even at the expense of breaking the bank?
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) April 20, 2016
So where do the San Francisco 49ers come into play? According to Adam Schefter, they are on Norman’s short list of teams he would like to play for. The 49ers have an abundance of cap room after doing little in free-agency. I asked GM Trent Baalke why he decided to go that route. “It’s like buying a stock at it’s high,” Baalke told me.
However, when you have an opportunity to sign an All-Pro player with roughly $52 million of cap space to work with, it’s probably best to aggressively pursue that player especially after finishing 5-11 the previous season.
The last time #49ers made a splash for a CB in free-agency was CB Nate Clements in 2007. 8 years worth $80 million. Highest paid Def. player
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) April 22, 2016
In four seasons, the 6-0, 197, shutdown cornerback has recorded 139 tackles, 7 interceptions (2 returned for TDs), and 36 PBUs.