Carolina Panthers franchise-tagged star cornerback Josh Norman has yet to sign the franchise tender and hinted that he may not show up to OTAs unless he receives a long-term contract. Appearing on NFL Network, Norman further elaborated.
“I can’t report if I haven’t signed anything,” he said. “So I don’t feel as if I’m at the point where I’m ready to get back working now.”
Norman stopped short of saying he would definitely hold out for a bigger contract, but that appears to be the road he’s walking now. It’s an odd choice, especially given how he would be guaranteed nearly $14 million if he did sign the tender.
But the long and short of it is that Norman has proven to be one of the best corners in the NFL since being drafted out of Coastal Carolina in 2012, and he knows his value. He posted 56 tackles, three forced fumbles and four interceptions with two defensive touchdowns last season and is still just 28 years old. Bar-none, it was the best season of his career.
But Carolina appears willing to be conservative with how they spend their money on key players, and GM Dave Gettleman appears prepared to maintain that stance with Josh Norman. He too is walking a fine line because if Norman holds out, it could very well be a long and drawn out process that could take a while.
Not for nothing, but can Carolina really afford to do that after making the Super Bowl last season?
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports