Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has done yeoman’s work the past 24 hours re-signing his own players at salaries that won’t break the salary cap.
But another development near the start of free agency could impact Gettleman’s negotiations with cornerback Josh Norman.
According to Pro Football Talk and other reports, the New York Giants are about to dump a bunch of money on former St. Louis corner Janoris Jenkins, a risk-taking defensive back prone to both making big plays and giving them up.
The Giants reportedly will give Jenkins a five-year, $62.5 million contract that will be the second-highest among corners behind Darrelle Revis’ five-year, $70 million deal.
Jenkins’ deal includes $29 million in guaranteed money over the first two years, compared with Revis’ $39 million in guarantees.
That’s the type of money Norman was looking for as he approached free agency for the first time. Instead, the Panthers applied the franchise tag to him last month, guaranteeing him $13.95 million in 2016.
Norman, 28, who made his first Pro Bowl last season, will make the same as Trumaine Johnson, Jenkins’ former Rams teammate, who also was tagged.
Johnson is not considered to be on the same level as Norman, who had four interceptions in 2015 (two he returned for touchdowns) and finished with the best passer rating against figure among corners on balls thrown to his area.
The Panthers and Norman didn’t get very far in their negotiations before last month’s tag deadline, but they can continue to work on a long-term contract.
The Panthers also could use the franchise tag on Norman again next offseason, delaying his free agency until he is 30. But that would go against Gettleman’s philosophy of rewarding the Panthers’ core players with long-term deals.