The Panthers have no intention of letting cornerback Josh Norman hit the free agent market.
But General Manager Dave Gettleman said he’s going to work in the next few days to try to keep Norman without using the franchise tag.
Gettleman repeated his intention to hang onto the emerging cover man, who earned All-Pro honors this year.
“I told you guys that I don’t believe in drafting and developing players for other teams,” Gettleman said. “We’re going to have the conversation and we’re going to do the best we can.
“We’re going to try to get a deal done and if not there are options, and maybe the tag gets used.”
The former fifth-round pick has downplayed contract talk all season. And even though this is Norman’s one real chance at the free agent market, Gettleman wasn’t worried about him pouting if he gets tagged prior to next Tuesday’s deadline.
“No, Josh is a pro,” Gettleman said. “He’s a pro and, . . . . No, not at all, because I’m not.”
The problem with finding the appropriate value for Norman is that he’s only been playing at a consistently high level for about a season and a half, having bounced in and out of coach Ron Rivera’s doghouse prior to that. And he’s also 28 years old, which has to give Gettleman pause when considering how to do the back half of the deal for an aging player.