How Does Franchise Tag Taken Off Josh Norman Affect the Carolina Panthers?

The Carolina Panthers made a rather shocking move Wednesday when they rescinded the franchise tag placed on cornerback Josh Norman. However, this move creates some holes in the defense but also brings some positives with it.

More Cap Space

The first thing this move does is create additional cap space for the Carolina Panthers. The franchise tag placed on cornerback Josh Norman came at a price of $13.95 million dollars which is now freed up for the front office to use this offseason.

Prior to this move, the Panthers had slightly over $18 million available according to the NFL Player Association's website for them to use. However now will have over $32 million dollars at their disposal with the combined addition from the franchise tag being taken back.

While having that much cap space this late in free agency may not be They will now have the move to add another cornerback in free agency or extend players who will be in line for contract extensions like Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short.

Massive Hole in Secondary

The Panthers are now most certainly in the market for another cornerback, whether that is through free agency or the NFL Draft, they will be adding a cornerback or two in the coming weeks. The Panthers did add one earlier this offseason with the signing of Brandon Boykin however he doesn't have the size to line up outside and there are certainly some question marks surrounding Bene Benwikere after he suffered a leg fracture at the end of the 2015 season.

The team will be looking for a new starter opposite Benwikere and GM Dave Gettleman has never been one to spend big money at the position. He typically will look for bargains at cornerback with signings like Charles TillmanAntoine Cason and Drayton Florence

The front office won't necessarily try to look for big names and rather find players for depth. This would open the door for Robert McClain to step in as a starter, a role he held for the Panthers during their playoff run last year.

Eliminate Locker Room Drama

One of the biggest things that is addressed with this move is the elimination of possible locker room drama created by the negotiations. Norman had made it clear that he would not be attending offseason workouts, which is certainly a right he held by not signing the franchise tag.

The Panthers though then had the right to rescind that contract since Norman didn't sign it, which they decided to use. The Panthers will begin their voluntary workouts next Monday and by making this move now, the team has been able to limit questions players would have to be asked about Norman's absence.

Even if Norman did sign later in the offseason, or after training camp, there could have been the potential for some ill-feelings towards the cornerback as the rest of the team was preparing for months for another Super Bowl run while he was away.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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