Josh Norman dodges a bullet, waits for “business” to commence

AP

Panthers cornerback Josh Norman understands what’s happening the next few days is just business.

But if he was being a smart businessman, he would have definitely done things differently last night.

Norman hosted a charity basketball game last night, promoting himself as one of the coaches along with teammate Thomas Davis. But he got in the action and played as well, with video of him jumping up to block a shot from WSOC.

Which is all well and good for the kids, but Norman should consider himself fortunate he didn’t hurt himself. Anything can happen to us at any time (I’ve still got streets to cross before I leave Indy, and you never know when a piano is going to fall out of the sky on top of you). But if he had torn an ACL or broken an ankle playing basketball, it could have been a very big charitable donation indeed.

The Panthers are working on a long-term extension, but barring a breakthrough, they’re more likely to use the franchise tag by Tuesday’s deadline, worth $13.95 million for a year.

And if he’d have popped an Achilles playing basketball (that never happens, right?), that $14 million in guaranteed money would have disappeared. He’s also scheduled another basketball game next Saturday in his hometown of Greenwood, S.C., but by then he will have either gotten a contract or been tagged and presumably signed it immediately to guarantee the money.

But since he escaped last night intact, he has a few days to wait for the tag, knowing it’s just business.

“It’s a business at the end of the day, and nothing is ever personal,” Norman said, via David Newton of ESPN. “It’s not personal with them. It’s not personal with coach [Ron Rivera] or position coaches. Nothing is ever personal. . . .

“I really hope that I can be here, because I’ve been here my whole life. I don’t want to change that. But hey, you never know how things will go.”

And that’s true of contract negotiations, and charity basketball games as well.