The Carolina Panthers will begin their preparation for another Super Bowl run next week when they begin their conditioning workouts, starting April 25th. However, one player who will not be in attendance, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, is cornerback Josh Norman.
The Panthers used their franchise tag on their starting cornerback earlier this offseason in hopes to give them more time to work out a long-term deal. However, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! wrote, the negotiations could get messy.
Norman is holding out for a long-term deal that would make him the highest paid cornerback in the league. The cornerback is frustrated with the franchise tag because he believes he would have made an "ungodly amount of money" as a free agent and points to deals given to players like Janoris Jenkins.
The Panthers, as Robinson notes in his article, are not ready to make that kind of commitment and are prepared to let Norman play under the franchise tag.
However, this would require Norman to sign the franchise tag, which is something he has yet to do and this allows him to sit out offseason workouts without punishment. NFL players could face fines for missing some OTAs however since Norman is not under contract with the Panthers, he would not be subject to these fines.
On Saturday though, during an interview on ESPN 730, Norman did say he was on his way to workout with quarterback Cam Newton. It doesn't appear that these contract negotiations have effected his relationship with his teammates.
This is one negotiation that doesn't appear to be close to ending but the two sides will have a deadline of July 15th to workout a long term deal. If not, the two sides will have to wait until after the 2016 season to re-open discussions.