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Panthers CB Josh Norman #3 on PFF Free Agent List

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The biggest question for the Panthers this offseason has to be what will they do with Josh Norman? It's been no secret the outspoken CB is one of the best CBs in the league and is sure to command and get a big contract on the open market.

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Will they be able to sign him to a long term deal or will they have to put the franchise tag on him? Here's my thoughts on both options.

I would love for a deal to get done, I'm just not sure the Panthers brass will allocate the kind of money it will take to re-sign him. Norman will be looking for $12 to $15M a season is one estimate. That's a big chunk out of a salary cap. I guess if you can fill your secondary with a bunch of cheaper options then maybe it works out. Also to the Panthers really value CB that much or is it only pass rushers that will get that type of money?

On the other hand I see a franchise tag as only a short term solution. Waiting another year only lessens the likelihood of a long term deal in my view because we are talking about Josh Norman. Sure he will make a nice amount for a season but is more likely to take the tag as a slight. He's volatile enough without being grumpy about his contract situation. I'd rather see him walk than use the tag on him.

What are your thoughts?