While the Carolina Panthers are mostly busy getting ready for the Super Bowl, a general manager always thinks a few steps ahead. One of the most important steps going into the offseason is the next contract for Josh Norman, who hits free agency once the postseason ends.
Norman, 28, is finishin his rookie contract and had one might seem to think is a contract year, but other could refer to it as a breakout season, named to the first-team All-Pro for his four interceptions and two defensive touchdowns this season, while probably being the best defensive back in the league, not to mention trying to take over the role of most ouspoken.
The Panthers tried making a deal with Norman last offseason but the two were very far apart on the details, with Norman confident enough in himself to know his vaule will rise after the 2015 season. He was right, ranking as sixth on the PFF rankings (always good for defensive players, not so much when it comes to quarterbacks) and putting himself with the elite group of cover corners in the league.
What does it mean for him financially? Norman will probably get a deal similar to what Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis got on their latest signings, even if it’s difficult for the Panthers to put a number out there right now. Just like it was for the Seattle Seahawks and any team with young players emering at the same time; things become expensive.
Norman isn’t the only player the Panthers need to worry about after the Super Bowl, hopefully having a big smile on their face, but with the defense behind Cam Newton probably being the main reason for the Panthers success over the last few years, including three consecutive postseason appearances, getting the Norman thing done quickly (or maybe through a franchise tag) is important to moving on to other things in the offseason.