Josh Norman fired an agent after he was unable to get a deal with the Panthers for more than a year.
And if he’d have trusted his own counsel, he’d have taken a much smaller deal.
According to a blow-by-blow account of Norman’s signing in Washington by Mike Jones and Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post, Norman went back to the Panthers after firing agent Michael George and tried to sign the one-year, $13.95 million tender himself, only to find out he was too late.
Thus, with new representation Ryan Williams, he had to settle for a five-year, $75 million deal with $36.5 million (not $50 million) in guarantees.
The fact Norman was willing to crawl back to the Panthers after what had been a contentious process behind the scenes was telling.
Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman had a air of exasperation when he announced the move, saying it was obvious they were never going to agree on a long-term deal (especially not after Norman had declared himself one of the top five corners of all time and they responded with an $11 million a year offer).
But Norman apparently wasn’t lying all last season when he insisted he wanted to stay with the Panthers, not if he was willing to forego a chance at an open and lucrative market for one more ride with what amounted to his hometown team.
The story also suggests Panthers coaches were unaware of what was going on, and suspected there was more to Gettleman’s move than financial reasons. Coach Ron Rivera offered a tepid “I trust Dave,” last Thursday, but the news that he could have gone into this season without a gaping hole in his secondary has to be galling to a guy who helped develop Norman into one of the league’s top corners.