The Carolina Panthers made major news on Wednesday when they announced they have rescinded the franchise tag offer they had made to cornerback Josh Norman earlier this offseason. This essentially makes Norman an unrestricted free agent and able to begin negotiating and sign with any team.
General manager Dave Gettleman said after the announcement, "After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable. We have decided to rescind the Franchise Tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well."
The Panthers were able to make this move since Norman had yet to sign the one-year contract, worth $13.95 million in attempt to holdout for a long-term deal. This is the first time a move like this has taken place since 2009, according to ESPN's Field Yates, when the Seattle Seahawks took the tag off linebacker Leroy Hill.
However, the Seahawks and Hill did agree to a long-term deal a few days later but this probably won't be the case for the Panthers and Norman. The two sides had been negotiating on a long-term deal for sometime and were not getting closer to an agreement.
Norman had made it clear that he wanted to be the highest paid cornerback in the league and was hoping for a salary in the range of $16 million per year. The former Panthers' cornerback had also made it clear that he would not be attending any offseason workouts, which may have helped the Panthers towards the decision they did make.
The Panthers meanwhile now have a hole to fill in their secondary and could turn to either Robert McClain or potential cornerbacks on the free agent market. They will have much more cap space to work with though as the franchise tag salary ($13.95 million) will now be available for the team to use. The team may also look to the NFL Draft which is less than 10 days away.