Josh Norman had a meteoric rise this past season, one that started with four interceptions in the first four games and ended with him firmly entrenched in the discussion of top cornerbacks in the league today. He is now expected to receive a substantial pay raise this offseason as he was in his final year of his contract with the Carolina Panthers.
If the team hopes to keep him in Charlotte, they will have two options. The first option, and this requires really no negotiation, is they could use their franchise tag. This would mean Norman would receive a one-year deal from the Panthers and his salary would be the average of the top five contracts at the position. In December, Albert Breer reported that cornerbacks under the franchise tag would expect to receive a salary of $13.7 million for 2016.
While the franchise tag is an option, the goal this offseason needs to be for both sides to come to an agreement on a long-term deal. If the Panthers are hoping to keep Norman with a new deal, they should expect to offer him one of the top deals at the cornerback position. Below are the Top 5 deals currently at the position.
|Name||Team||Years||Total Contract Value||Average Salary|
|Darrelle Revis||New York Jets||5||$70,121,060||$14,024,212|
|Patrick Peterson||Arizona Cardinals||5||$70,050,000||$14,010,000|
|Richard Sherman||Seattle Seahawks||4||$56,000,000||$14,000,000|
|Joe Haden||Cleveland Browns||5||$67,500,000||$13,500,000|
|Byron Maxwell||Philadelphia Eagles||6||$63,000,000||$10,500,000|
It is worth noting that three of the five deals (Peterson, Sherman, and Haden) were contract extensions with their current team. The Panthers are most likely going to need to offer Norman a contract for five years with an average salary somewhere between 13 and 14 million dollars to keep him with the organization.
*All contract and cap space figures courtesy of Spotrac.