With the withdrawal of his franchise tender by the Carolina Panthers, Josh Norman is now a free agent. It’s safe to say that all 32 teams will show interest in the talented corner.
While Miami could definitely use the help at cornerback, signing Norman would be a bad idea for the Dolphins. With his asking price expected to be between $16-$18M per year, he just isn’t a good fit financially because it would require Miami to do one of three things:
Option #1 is to use almost all of their remaining cap space to sign Norman. With draft picks still to sign, and a roster to finish filling out, Miami can’t afford to blow it all on one player. (Not to mention that Mike Tannenbaum likes to carry over space from year-to-year.)
The second option would be to cut and/or restructure current player contracts. For a team already short on depth, cutting a player (such as Wake) would make an already thin roster thinner. And restructuring player deals (like they did with Suh) is only continuing to push money into future years and hinders the future of the franchise.
Their final remaining option, and most likely if a deal were to get done, is to sign Josh Norman to a deal that is “team friendly” in year 1 but considerably increases in years 2-5. (Once again, think Suh’s contract from 2015.) While this option would make Miami better in 2016, it would result in an almost unmanageable 2017 cap situation.
In the end, no matter which option you chose, Miami would begin 2017 having approximately 40% of its cap tied up in three players
–Cap figures courtesy of overthecap.com
For a team that admitted less than a month ago to being more than one player away, signing Norman just feels like a bad move.
UPDATE – according to reports, Norman will sign with the Washington Redskins on Saturday The contract is said to carry a $50 million guarantee.