Josh Norman's contract will affect the Buffalo Bills.

Josh Norman's next contract will affect the Buffalo Bills.

The 2016 NFL draft should be the No. 1 storyline in the NFL right now, but that’s not necessarily the case. After the Carolina Panthers rescinded their franchise tag on Josh Norman, the cornerback took over the headlines. A top cornerback in 2015 is suddenly available in free agency and he has already been linked to the Washington Redskins. According to Adam Schefter, Norman is set to make anywhere from $14 to $15 million per year on average.

https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/723291250124840961

UPDATE: Norman signed a 5-year, $75 million contract with Washington.

What does this have to do with the Buffalo Bills? Quite a bit. The Bills arguably have a top 10 cornerback of their own entering the final year of his contract. The contract that Norman signs can be used by Stephon Gilmore’s representatives as a starting point in negotiations.

Some Bills fans will scoff that this notion, but Gilmore is going to be paid like a top cornerback when he receives his second contract in the league. Unfortunately that means that Buffalo may have to shell out more money than they’d like for Gilmore’s services. In late March, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News said the Bills “seem to be inclined to sign Gilmore to a deal that would average between $12 million and $12.5 million per season.”

Realistically, this amount of money may not get a deal done with Gilmore. Buffalo’s top cornerback is coming off of a season that is comparable to Norman’s:

 

Norman

Gilmore

Games Played

16

12

Tackles

56 (3.5 per game)

36 (3 per game)

Passes defensed

19

18

Interceptions

4

3

Forced Fumbles

3

0

*Norman did have two defensive touchdowns in 2015.

Even their career totals are similar:

 

Norman

Gilmore

Games Played

53

53

Tackles

181

178

Passes defensed

37

50

Interceptions

7

9

Forced Fumbles

4

4

 

There isn’t much difference between the two cornerbacks and Gilmore is actually three years younger than Norman. Gilmore’s representatives will look at Norman’s contract closely when he does sign with the Redskins or 49ers and the Bills will be expected to pay Gilmore a similar rate. 

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