One team's loss will almost certainly wind up as another's gain.
The Carolina Panthers shocked the football world yesterday by rescinding the franchise tag they had placed on cornerback Josh Norman, making him a free agent immediately. The 28-year-old was slated to earn $13.9 million for the 2016 season. Norman was named a first-team All-Pro in 2015, recording 56 tackles, four interceptions, and three forced fumbles.
"After a number of conversations with Josh's agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable," general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement. "We have decided to rescind the franchise tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well.
It's likely Norman is seeking a contract that would make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets is currently the best-paid player at the position with an average annual value of $14.02 million. According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, eight or nine teams have already called about Norman. Teams interested include the San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 49ers are reportedly ahead of the pack, according to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson.