Jacksonville Jaguars should stay out of bidding war for Josh Norman
By Daniel Lago
Should the Jaguars make Josh Norman the richest CB in the league? No.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be big players this offseason in free agency thanks to what is projected to be the most cap room in the entire NFL. While the team made a concerted effort to spend money last offseason and acquire big time players, those efforts need to be doubled this year, especially in regards to luring in playmakers on defense.
We’ve already talked about cornerback being a priority in free agency and one guy who has a non-zero chance of being available is Carolina Panthers breakout star Josh Norman.
The 4th year defensive back started his year out strong against none other than the Jaguars, sealing the game with a pick 6 on an awful pass by quarterback Blake Bortles. He ended up with 4 interceptions on the season but his play certainly tailed off at the end of the year.
Regardless, Josh Norman is the consensus top cornerback slated to hit free agency. Rucker Haringey over at FanSided thinks the Jaguars are the top candidate to throw a ton of money at Norman:
"When you have over $75 million in available cap space and sported the next-to-last pass defense in 2015 it’s pretty obvious that you should make a big-time bid for help at cornerback. That’s why the Jaguars should throw a ton of cash at Josh Norman.The Jags were bad all over the field last season so they need to spend money at a lot of different positions. They may not have a bigger need than cornerback though.That means they have to target the position in either the draft or free agency. Given the lack of elite corners in this year’s draft, they’d be wise to address the position in free agency instead.The Jaguars also need to add a player who can get the local community interested in the team. Josh Norman isn’t a choir boy, but he is absolutely an interesting player. He’d become an immediate star in one of the NFL’s smallest markets.If Josh Norman is more interested in dollars than wins, the Jaguars could be a significant contender for his services this off-season."
Next: Should the Jaguars draft Shawn Oakman?
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First off, this piece is probably moot since the most likely scenario is that Norman re-signs with Carolina or is franchise tagged and won’t be allowed to leave.
If Norman does hit the market however, the Jaguars should stay away.
The Jaguars clearly need help at cornerback, but they shouldn’t make a push for Norman. In the event he does hit the market, Norman is likely going to be looking for a contract that makes him the highest paid defensive back in the NFL. While he is very good, Norman has only performed at a high level for one year – a contract year – and his play tailed off at the end of the regular season.
Even though they do have copious amounts of cap space, the Jaguars would be better off going for a cheaper guy like Janoris Jenkins and throwing the big contracts at defensive lineman (Olivier Vernon, Malik Jackson, JPP).