In a recent interview with Emily Kaplan of MMQB.com, Josh Norman discussed the events leading up to the Carolina Panthers rescinding the franchise tag and him eventually signing with the Washington Redskins.
According to Norman, he was confused when he heard the news on April 20th, the day the team had taken the franchise tag off of him. The cornerback said,
“Don’t they know how bad I want to be here?” Norman asked. “Couldn’t they have given me warning?” He says he dialed Richardson’s number seeking clarity. He called his coaches. He then called Gettleman, and said he was willing to sign the tender. According to Norman, Gettleman told the player that the paperwork had already been filed.
Norman was drafted by the Panthers in the fifth round and had played his four seasons with the organization. Last year is when everything came together for the cornerback and he had a breakout season, which included a First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection.
He had a career year and he was in position to cash in big time with this past season also being a contract season. This is where the relationship soured between the player and the organization. GM Dave Gettleman believes in building a defense in the trenches and a strong defensive front will make the secondary better.
Norman was looking for a contract that would have made him one of the highest paid players at the position, while the Panthers were not willing to budge from a five-year, $80 million dollar contract according to Kaplan.
Norman said about the Panthers' GM:
“He has no ties to me. He didn’t bring me in. I had been there five years, busting my tail, giving it everything I had. I was blue-collar to the core. And they talk so much about this being a family deal—well, dang, you could have at least let me know. You want to be a family, but honestly, is this a family way of doing things?”
It appears that even though, Norman got the contract he wants he didn't necessarily get it from the organization he wanted. The former Panthers' cornerback wanted to stay in the Carolinas, a place where he grew up and played college football at Coastal Carolina.
“I began to envision my life [in Carolina], growing old there,” Norman says. “I envisioned being that guy who lived his whole life in the Carolinas, and could positively impact that area.”
The Panthers will have a chance to see Josh Norman this season as they will take on the Redskins under the bright lights of Monday Night Football on December 19th.