This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given that numerous reports have said as much in the past few weeks.
The expectation is that Norman will get a massive payday either this year or next from the Panthers, but using their tag on him would at least buy them some addition time to negotiate a long-term extension.
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.
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.