On Wednesday the Carolina Panthers sent shockwaves through the NFL world when they decided to rescind the franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman. Making him an unrestricted free agent free to sign anywhere. Personally I think the Panthers made the right move in letting Norman walk and I think it will benefit the franchise presently and in the long run.
The Panthers sent a strong message with this move showing they will not be pushed around and/or mortgage the future success of the franchise for a player that doesn’t seem to have the right mindset for this organization. Especially with just one Pro bowl season and by all accounts a questionable attitude. Prior to last year’s breakout season Norman, if I recall correctly, he was in the doghouse with Coach Rivera and he didn’t play much his first couple of seasons. I understand a player wanting his payday after being productive on the field, but it was just one season and Norman’s asking price is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion.
He wants Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis type money asking for 16 million per year. Norman only has one great year under his belt where as Revis and Peterson have proven track records to be quality football players and shutdown corners. I’m not saying Norman isn’t a good player and may be worth that much someday, but right now there is no way. I know he didn’t get thrown at much the second half of the season after his torrid beginning, but I seem to remember some situations where he gambled and got burned putting our defense in some bad spots.
Another big factor in his decision is his attitude it’s been reported that he was not the best locker room presence and that’s one thing I’ve learned since Gettleman’s arrival to the Panthers is a locker room chemistry is paramount and if that comes into question the “offender” is usually not a part of the long-term plan of the team. Norman’s attitude played a part in the contract negotiations and it was clear to Gettleman that a long-term contract was not feasible due to Norman’s demands.
The team was reportedly willing to give Norman 11 million per year, which isn’t too shabby, but sometimes a person’s true colors come out showing what he is really after. Instead of having the opportunity to win championships in the years to come Norman chose the greenbacks his choice and the Panthers were willing to oblige allowing him and his agent to explore a trade. When that didn’t work out they just cut ties with him altogether. Like I said I don’t fault a guy for wanting a big payday, but it seems he could have had the best of both worlds with the opportunity to win championships and make a good chunk of change in the process it is what it is best of luck to him.
Honestly the organization might be in better shape now they opened up 32 million in cap space. The team can shore up multiple areas of the roster and not have that money chewed up by one player; which could potentially handcuff the organization in the future when trying to add other players or re-sign our own. Speaking of keeping our own we can now lock up our core players like Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei to long-term deals to keep them in the Queen city for a while. I applaud the Panthers brass and ownership for sticking to their guns and not giving in!
Gettleman has proven he is not afraid to make the unthinkable move he doesn’t care what other people think he just does what’s best for the organization’s present and future. I’ll admit it was a shocking move, but I agree with it and I believe the Panthers will be better off and I’m excited to see what else he’s got up his sleeve to improve the team in the weeks to come.