Carolina Panthers smart to sign linebacker Jared Norris
The Carolina Panthers may not have made a flashy move, but they made a smart one on Saturday.
The Carolina Panthers made a move on Saturday, but it wasn’t the type of move that is going to make headlines. The team signed linebacker Jared Norris to a two-year contract.
Norris, who also doubles as an effective special-teams player, finished the year on injured reserve last year. Norris received $150,000 to sign per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
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Norris has certainly had a long path to the National Football League. He went undrafted in the 2016 NFL draft but signed with the Carolina Panthers in May 2016. He has had several stints on injured reserve throughout the course of his career with last season being the most recent occurrence. He recorded one tackle last year.
Again, he is not the type of player that you are going to see on the cover of Sports Illustrated anytime soon. However, he is valuable to the Panthers in the sense that he is a hard-working player on special teams. With several departures at linebacker including noted special teamer and linebacker Ben Jacobs, the Panthers will certainly need someone to step up and fill that void. The key for him will be to stay healthy. It will be exciting to see what he can do in a full season. He certainly has the talent.
Look no further than the fact that he was named to the Pac-12 Honorable Mention Second Team in 2014. There is certainly the potential for him to have a bigger role next season. Of course, he is stuck playing behind Luke Kuechly. Unless you are an All-Pro, you are not taking the position away from someone who has been given the moniker of Superman. It would also be unfair to expect that of him. He is a very good player in the role he has and the Carolina Panthers will be able to have him for a couple more years.
There are bigger signings to be taken care of this offseason. However, the signing of Norris on Saturday shows that the Carolina Panthers are not afraid to tie up loose ends before then. It is certainly smart of them to do so. They should get all of the minor signings out of the way, and then they have the ability to see how many resources they have at their disposal to sign the bigger-name players. In an offseason as crucial as this one is for the Panthers, it is smart of them to do so.