In the end, Cole expects Norman to get a massive payday either this year or next from the Panthers.
Norman said on Monday that he’s not thinking about his contract situation, and is instead focused on the Super Bowl. Although, Cole mentions Norman fired his agent during the season and is still looking for new representation.
Franchising Norman will run Carolina close to $14 million fully guaranteed for the 2015 season, but it also buys them time to negotiate an extension. Given that Norman is likely to secure one of the highest paying contracts for a cornerback, it can’t hurt to have some additional time to work on an agreement.
The Panthers are projected to have $20,415,540 in available cap space for the 2016 season, according to OverTheCap.com, and franchise Norman could leave them with around $7 million in cap room to work with.
Of course, they could pick up a good amount of cap space by cutting veteran DE Charles Johnson.
Norman, 28, is a former fifth-round pick of the Panthers back in 2012. He’s in the final year of his four-year, $2,299,000 rookie contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in the coming months.
In 2015, Norman appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 56 tackles, four interceptions with two being returned for touchdowns, three forced fumbles, two recoveries, and 18 pass defenses for the Panthers. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 6 cornerback out of 118 qualifying players.
We have Norman featured in our Top 2016 Free Agents list.