Opposing viewpoints: Panthers vs. Norman
April 25, 2016
Good riddance, Josh Norman
To the shock of the rest of NFL, the Carolina Panthers rescinded the Franchise Tag placed on All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman on Wednesday, April 20 after he failed to report to voluntary off-season workouts. The Panthers made the right decision letting Norman walk, even though the league views him as arguably the top corner in the game.
Holdouts provide distractions in training camp and can lead to rough starts to the season. Look no further than Kam Chancellor, who held out through an 0-2 start before finally returning to a Seattle lineup that never truly found its NFC Champion form of the prior year. No team coming off the best season in franchise history wants a lingering distraction in the locker room and on the field.
Reports also stated that Norman and the Panthers could not come close to negotiating a long-term deal, defeating the purpose of paying him $13,952,000 for one more year of service.
Nobody can discount Norman’s stellar 2015 season as he intercepted four passes and practically shut down top receivers such as Dez Bryant, DeAndre Hopkins, and Julio Jones. But the Panthers possess a championship-caliber team that they would like to keep together, and paying Josh Norman “Revis money” (five years, 70 million dollars) would prevent them from resigning multiple reliable assets in the future.
Carolina will attempt to replace Norman through the draft or by developing young players and evaluating them during the pre-season. This simply speeds up the developmental process as the Panthers would have found themselves in the same position next year if they kept Norman.
The Panthers made the smart choice by cutting Norman in April as it will make headlines now, but certainly blow over by the time the season begins. This eliminates the future locker room tension and unwanted media coverage that a holdout comes with and allows Carolina to simply focus on preparing the team for another Super Bowl run.
Panthers make mistake by rescinding Norman’s contract
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.