CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 14: Charles Sims #34 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball against Josh Norman #24 of the Carolina Panthers in the 2nd half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The signing of free agent Brent Grimes doesn’t mean the Buccaneers are out of the cornerback market. In fact, many still think Tampa Bay could be targeting a cornerback in the first round with their No. 9 overall pick in next week’s NFL Draft.
But by rescinding the franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman as Carolina did on Wednesday, the Panthers could have completely changed the complexity of the draft for Tampa Bay, if the Buccaneers are able to negotiate a deal for the Pro Bowl corner.
Carolina initially placed the franchise tender of Norman this past spring, which would have paid him $13.85 million for the upcoming 2016 season. But something apparently changed, and on Wednesday the Panthers removed that designation, making the 28-year old an immediate free agent. Following the news, Charlotte Observer writer Joe Person reported there were a handful of teams interested in the testy but talented cornerback, and the Buccaneers were one of those teams.
While Bucs fans – and presumably many members of the organization – would love to see Norman in red and pewter, other teams reportedly are interested in Norman, including the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers who have approximately $53 million in available cap room. The Bucs have close to $16 million of available space, but could create considerably more with a handful of cuts.
Norman would immediately be inserted as a starter opposite Grimes, and the Bucs and their fans would feel comfortable that arguably their weakest position in 2015, would instantly become one of their strongest. Norman has seven career interceptions, with four of those coming last season, including two interceptions returned for a touchdown. On his career, Norman has also added 181 tackles, 36 pass breakups and and four forced fumbles.
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do it. Excellent pick up. It will shake things up in a few days on draft day.
Whatever it takes. WHATEVER it takes…
Teams like the 49ers and Jaguars could outbid the Bucs with both hands tied behind their backs on this one. The only real draw the Bucs would have for Norman is the chance to help a division rival and beat up his old team twice a season. Come to think of it, with his personality that might be a huge temptation. In any case, Licht should try to sign him but not pay more than $10 million per season max. He wants Revis money but he’s not anywhere near being worth it. If he continues to demand that much, Licht should just let the screen door hit him in the ass on the way out of the office.
janoris jenkins received almost $12.5M per year from the Giants and he’s nowhere near Norman or Revis… so gonna be tough to get Norman he knows what he can get on the market
don’t do it! Wasn’t this tried recently with Revis and he sure wasn’t worth it. Norman is 28 and was partially successful do to a very good defensive line and Luke Keuckey helped his coverage on that side of the field.
Don’t know this guy other than his play against us last season. Seems he struggled a little against Evans(?) Not a big believer in signing guys who played best in their contract year. Think this is a position where “homegrown” makes sense. We have a year to teach a rook CB, I like the kid from OSU in the 2nd round or late 1st if we trade down.
I don’t know about Norman struggling against the Bucs. I remember watching him play us week 4. He had 2 INT’s, one of which being a pick 6. I also remember that half way through the season last year, teams stopped throwing his way. I dont feel he is worth 15-16 mil a year though. Maybe somewhere around 12-13 mil.
Tampa should throw one of those 2 yr/$36M contracts at him. Pay him as the top CB as long as he is the top CB. Especially while Jameis is on a rookie contract. Watched a lot of Panthers games last year and this guy isn’t just one of the top Corners in the NFL, but one of the top Defenders.
This is very intriguing. I hate the guy but he’s a top notch CB. Horse this can’t be compared to Reevis. Totally different circumstances. Reevis was rehabbing and never 100% first of all. Second Reevis was older. Third we have a much better offense now and IMO better coaches and D coordinator. Shiano just wasn’t ready for NFL, and Reevis was not healthy.
I have mixed emotions about this. We need an outside CB in the worst way and Josh Norman has proven, for one year at least, that he is one of the best. Signing him could change the draft board – allowing the Bucs to trade down twice and move out of the 1st round and stockpile draft picks. Enticing, but risky!
On the other hand, why is Norman available now? As much as I dislike the Panthers, they are a well-run organization. Maybe we’ve seen this movie before. If no long-term deal could be struck, why not go and see what the market will bear. He wants Reavis money, but probably won’t get that because….well, he’s not Revis and doesn’t have the consistent year-to-year performance to command that kind of long term commitment – in other words he’s a one year wonder. Once he has played the field, like DE Charles Johnson, he could go back to Carolina and sign because he knows his way around the school yard! And Of course I believe Carolina when they say they have no intention of signing him on the open market.
I’m not against signing Norman, but my common sense IQ says to stick with the plan. Build thru the draft and develop our young players over time. But make no mistake, he is better than anyone we have right now or probably anybody we get in the draft for the first year. Gotta trust Licht on this one!
Like I have said before get rid of bums on the team to free up some dead money EDS, G Johnson, Verner, and why not Stocker the Blocker, we can draft a big TE late in the draft to block that isn’t a threat in the passing game like Stocker. Sign Norman he shuts down half the field and yes, I haven’t forgotten about Revis and I don’t think that was a mistake he is a shut down corner too and thought we should have kept him rather than signing a bunch of do nothings like Carl Nicks, Michael Johnson and Alterran Verner
I think the signing of this cb would be great if they sign him and give him closed to Revis money and it would increase his amt. Like this. Tampa offers $12 million guarentee in yr one and etc. How many CB gets $12 million guarentee for one yr. Remember no state Income tax. Plus looked at what has happen with Tenn and Clev they moved out of the top two spots! Do you think Tampa is making a deal with Denver for Mike Glennon and other moves! It great to be a buc period!!!
I would love for the Bucs to sign Norman but to a series of one year deals ike they did with Reavis.
Unfortunately. like a Catholic school girl, Norman is no doubt looking for more commitment and long term money that that.
That is probably the reason the Panthers balked at Norman as well.
If I’m going to pay a player $14 million a year I’m going to give it to a stud DL who strikes fear onto the hearts and minds of QB’s everywhere.
I only watched Norman in the two games he played against us last year and one of his four INT’s was a gift by Winston who had no business tossing that ball in the first place.
jongurden, Carl Nicks and his preinjured turf toe was signed before Reavis came on board.
If drafting NFL caliber blocking TE’s in the latter rounds was as easy as you make it seem. every team in the NFL would be doing it.
They try, but it rarely succeeds.
In retrospect, I agree with you I regards to Revis, but hindsight is 2020 and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
It was an overall bad idea for Lovie to blow up the offensive line like he did by replacing four of the five starters, even though the line was horrible the year before.
But Donald Penn and the kid who went to the Ravens were still both very serviceable lineman.
Unfortunately, when the unqualified and inexperienced Arroyo replaced the quitter who acted like Rodney Dangerfield in “Caddyshack” as OC, the whole idea was doomed.
BTW, three years after being paid $16 million by the Bucs. Reavis still isn’t making that kind of money and neither is any other CB in the league.
Another bonehead move by our ex pretty boy GM.
Drdneast- Every team has that blocking TE who comes in for certain run packages to block, the Cardinals have a TE named Troy Niklas a huge kid who is 6’5 kid for blocking only the problem is in AZ they don’t give him player of the week awards and cards fan don’t even mention his name like and say stupid stuff like David Johnson only gets his yds cause of Niklas, TE’s who ONLY block are replaceable and yes you can draft a big TE or even use an extra tackle to do so, Stocker had 60 yds for the season FOR THE SEASON, that’s pathetic I’m dumbfounded how bad that is
The only one who mentions Stocker is……YOU!
Bucs aren’t going to sign Norman. One of the main reasons is because the WAY overpaid for Doug Martin. One thing Licht better remember from his time as a Patriot is don’t get sentimental and don’t over pay.
Cut eds, cut Johnson, cut verner, ( 12 mil) re work VJ a new 2 year deal for 14 mil getting an additional 2.5 and you sit at 14.5 and you have a top 3 corner for eds , Johnson and verner or cut VJ and Verner ( 17 mil) and try and resign VJ and choose what you want with Smith , Johnson or Cherlus
Prob going to take a four year deal over 13 a yr , with over 25 to 30 guaranteed
Go get this dude, and cut Verner. It’s as simple as that. This would then allow for the Bucs to go after a pressing need on the DL in the draft and sure some things up on D. Norman already knows the receivers that he will face in the NFC South, which makes this an excellent choice for the Bucs. Go Bucs!
This one is a little indifferent to me. At first glance, you’re like heck yeah, let’s get him. Do what it takes. On the other hand, he’s 28, 29 when the season begins, and until last year hasn’t played a full 16 games in his career. He’s the definition of a 1 year wonder who wants ridiculous money. I am all for it, if you can get him for a 3 years at 11 or 12 million a year, but 16, forget about it. And I don’t see Licht spending money like that anyways. Much rather draft a DB and develop.
I don’t think we should sign him. I would rather use the money to try and trade for DE Wilkerson with the Jets. Why not trade our 1st round pick to the Jets for Wilkerson and there 1st round pick. We move back 11 spots and get a pro bowl DE.
Did Norman tackle Sims in the open field? If yes, sign him; if not, forget him!
LOL. Jomgruden is on his anti Stocker rant again.
You act like the guys drops game winning TD passes every week.
No one suggested Stocker was the reason that Martin was getting all of his years in the running game jongruden.
As I recall, it was stated Stocker was part of a very much improved offensive line that was assisting in Martin finding holes last year to aid his efforts.
I know it’s hard to remember through all the fog of hate you have for the player. but if you are going to attribute statements to prove a misguided point, try and make they are accurate and full.
Also, that Player of the Week award that you keep referring to was given out by this web site and is worth a whipping $50 and is often given to unheralded players.
Geeesh guy, what did Stocker ever do to you. You act like he took your daughter out on a date and brought her back a little to mussed up.
Take the other half of that Zoloft tomorrow instead of putting it back in the bottle.
You seemed to be thrilled about what little contributuion a player gives to this team, How bout our long snapper huh? What a beast!
Every team has one, sometimes even two, blocking TEs on their roster who aren’t expected to be pass catchers. We have two guys who can catch in ASJ and Brate. Stocker is one of the better blocking TEs in the league and his contract is small so I don’t understand the intensity of your feelings against keeping the guy on the team. Yeah, he was overdrafted because he was initially expected to add something to the passing game, but that’s one of Dominik’s many mistakes not the current regime. He’s found his game and he’s pretty damn good at it, I think.
I’m not sure if a couple of you understand the disruption caused by over paying a player who clearly doesn’t have enough credentials to be paid as an elite player.
I like the player’s spunk. He played well last season, but never heard of him before then. I’m concerned that he may be one of those guys who has an inflated opinion of himself like Michael Clayton and others who try to make the most of their one big hit in the top 40 countdown. Like to have him on the team but the price seems a bit high. I wonder why was he only a fifth round Draft choice.
I understand the idea of cutting some folks to free up some money to bring this guy in. It could be workable and not detrimental as long as Licht doesn’t pay him stupid money. Like Horse said, he’s not worth it in my opinion. But other teams have much more money to play with and he sounds like a guy that’s going to chase a paycheck. The only reason I see him CHOOSING to come to Bucs is if he’s sold on the idea that this defense is potentially about to be something special. And that he gets to stay in the division to play against his old team. I don’t know this guy that well. But it seems unlikely that he’ll take less money at the Bucs and want to build a great defense over looking for the biggest payday virtually anywhere. The point is it’s still worth it to try to sell him on helping this team get better. I just don’t see it happening.
Josh Norman plays hard and with an attitude this defense could definitely use. Cut Verner and give us a taller more proven option opposite Grimes to really pursue the playoffs. Go Bucs!
No matter….I would still like to see us draft a young CB early. Just can’t have enough good defensive backs in a pass happy league.
I don’t know that Norman would’ve looked all that good if he were playing for the Bucs D last year either! I wouldn’t be so quick to cut Verner- a fresh start w/ familiar coaching might do wonders for him…
I haven’t seen any flashes of anything from Verner to warrant what he gets paid. You would think by now we might have seen something. Even with bad coaching, a players instincts still show up sometimes. I have seen none from this guy. At least with Norman you know what potential he has in your division whether it was for only one season or not. We all have seen it
We saw that w/ Verner before he came to TB too- he was a pro-bowl CB in TN.
I believe he DID get the ONE and only pick on a slant route last year-haha.
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