Panthers make mistake by rescinding Norman’s contract

Emmett Schindler, Assistant editor-in-chief, News editor

Coming off one of their best seasons in history, the Carolina Panthers decided to remove their Franchise Tag from their best cornerback, Josh Norman. As one of the top players last season, the Panthers made a mistake by dropping Norman, and will likely pay for it this upcoming year.

Going into free agency, teams anxiously wait to get their hands on Norman, and for understandable reasons. Norman asserted his control over many of the top receivers last year, shutting down Falcon Julio Jones, Texan DeAndre Hopkins, and with Giants Odell Beckham Jr. in a fierce battle.

Norman truly showed his dominance on the field when quarterbacks started to throw in the other direction. Norman collected four interceptions in the first four games and had zero interceptions for the rest of the season. Many stubborn NFL fans would say he lost his skill after that fourth game, but Norman proved himself so dangerous, quarterbacks simply disregarded his side of the field.

After finishing his fourth and best season, Norman only looks to improve. He transitioned into a more effective player as a Panther and just as he started to prove his role as an all-star on the team, they send him into the wild. Despite an inability to continue his career on his first team, he now suits up in a new uniform.

The Panthers now struggle to complete their defense. With Luke Kuechly and a solid defensive line, they now need to fill in the missing spot of a passing threat. Filling that spot will be very difficult now, with the top free agent cornerbacks already being signed, such as Trumaine Johnson, Casey Hayward, and Pacman Jones. As of now, Charles Tillman, who continues to struggle with injuries, and Cortland Finnegan fill the cornerback starters, which will likely change because of Tillman’s injury prone playing.

Why would a team get rid of one of the best leaders and players on the team, especially considering the Panthers recently made their huge run to the Super Bowl, just coming up short? Yes, it would cost a pile of money to keep him on, but if a team wants to reassert their dominance in the league, continue their success, and maybe receive another spot back in the Super Bowl, they must make sacrifices to keep some of the best players in the league. Now, a new team gets to benefit from Norman’s expertise.