Breaking News:

Keep up with So Much Sports on Twitter @SoMuchSports

Panthers pull Josh Norman’s franchise take

Josh Norman emerged as the league's most shutdown cornerback last year but is now a free agent after the Carolina Panthers removed their franchise tag from him.

Josh Norman emerged as the league’s most shutdown cornerback last year but is now a free agent after the Carolina Panthers removed their franchise tag from him.

You don’t see this much at all — a team rescinding a franchise tag on one of the very best players at his position — but with no road to signing a long-term deal in sight and the players unwillingness to attend voluntary workouts, the Carolina Panthers have removed the tag they put on Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman, making him an unrestricted free agent immediately.

Reports claim the Panthers offered Norman close to $11 million per year, but the star cornerback wanted between $15 million and $16 million per year. With the Panthers wanting to save money for when they have to re-sign defensive tackles Star Lotuleli and Kawann Short next seasons, they decided to move on from Norman.

Norman immediately becomes the best free agent available on the market and should have teams lining up to sign him, but with the money he wants only a small handful of teams currently have the money. With the success Gus Bradley had with Richard Sherman being a lock down cornerback at the end of his time in Seattle, the Jaguars could spend some of their $53.7 million of cap room on him. The 49ers also have $52.1 million in cap space and are desperate for defensive talent and star-power. The Cleveland Browns ($39.8 million), Tennessee Titans ($29.4 million), New York Giants ($22.1 million) and Chicago Bears ($22 million) all have the necessarily cap room at this time to make a big move for Norman, but teams like the Los Angeles Rams ($12.3 million) or Indianapolis Colts ($17.7 million) could make necessary moves to create cap space to afford him.

The Panthers are certainly taking a huge risk by letting Norman walk. Bene Benwikere, coming off a fractured leg in December, was expected to be the starter opposite Norman next year after making 10 career starts and excelling as the team’s nickelback the past two seasons. Robert McClain has made 17 starts for the Panthers, including the entire postseason, and remains an option to start again next season. Former Philadelphia and Pittsburgh cornerback Brandon Boykin was brought in on and one-year deal and could compete for an increased role.

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Comments are closed.