Josh Norman goes AWOL for Panthers


Josh Norman will not be appearing in off season workouts with the Carolina Panthers.

The Pro Bowl cornerback has yet to sign his franchise tag tender he is still not officially on the team, even though he is not free to sign with anyone else. The workouts are scheduled to begin on April 25, which is later than any other franchise in the NFL thanks to a special exception granted to head coach Ron Rivera.

It’s not as if Norman is totally bailing on his team, though. David Newton at ESPN reported yesterday that Norman has been working out with Cam Newton as recently as Saturday.

While this is an encouraging sign about Josh Norman’s ties with Carolina, the two sides remain far apart on a possible deal. Per Newton:

“Norman still hasn’t signed the franchise tag that guarantees him $13.952 million in 2016. Until he does, he isn’t under contract, so there is no incentive to report, barring a last-minute change. The market suggests Norman could get anywhere from $15 million to $16 million in a long-term deal. That would make him the highest-paid corner in the league…”

There is no reason to panic, just yet.

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Norman reportedly wants a contract worth $16 million a year, which is more than some quarterbacks make in a season. While Norman is a good cornerback and he’s earned a new contract, he’s not the best in the NFL yet and with the exception of a few defensive linemen nobody else makes real QB money in this league.

General manager Dave Gettleman will more than likely let him walk next season if he would cost that much.

The trouble for Norman is that he’s setting himself up for failure at a bad time. 2016 has a deep class at cornerback and Carolina could find a quality replacement that would come much, much cheaper than what Norman is asking for over at least the next four years.

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Norman is no dummy, though. Expect him to be back and ready to go for training camp. He will play under the franchise tag this year then our guess is he will sign a big contract elsewhere in 2017.