The Carolina Panthers shocked everybody yesterday by rescinding their franchise tag offer on Josh Norman making the Pro Bowl cornerback a free-agent able to sign with any team in the league. The two sides were so far apart in contract negotiations that the Panthers simply decided to let him go and be happy with only getting a compensatory pick in return.
This moves allows Norman to test the market and sign the most lucrative deal out there but at this stage in free agency a lot of would be suitors simply don't have the money to afford him, limiting his options. Of course teams can always find creative ways of finding said cap space if they want a player bad enough, would the Jets be willing to do that?
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that "teams expressing most interest in former Panthers CB Josh Norman so far include SF, Washington, Pittsburgh, Miami. Others also making a pitch." And according to Schefter the Jets are one of the others.
It's nice that the Jets have some interest in Norman, though he struggles at times in man-coverage he would make for an excellent pair with Darrelle Revis, but there is little-to-no chance the Jets could actually sign him. Norman is seeking top cornerback money and even though he's not likely to get as much as he wants he will certainly get more than the Jets could afford. Right now the Jets have less than $4 million in cap space and still need to sign their draft picks and possibly Ryan Fitzpatrick. Sure, they could find a creative way to sign him but the Jets have far more important needs and all the creative in the world isn't likely to allow them to be the highest bidder.
At 28-years-old Norman is, rightfully, looking at this as his one big payday and he's going to choose the highest bidder and it's just hard to envision a scenario where the Jets are that team. There is one specific reason everyone should root for the Jets to sign Norman though and that's so we could watch him face off against Odell Beckham Jr. in the Snoopy Bowl every preseason.
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)