Fresh out of their 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday's Super Bowl 50, the Carolina Panthers have several questions involving their lineup that they would need to face this offseason. The team are reportedly going to talk to Josh Norman in order to encourage him to sign to a new deal following the championship game. However, if those talks stall out, ESPN reports that the Panthers might have to use their franchise tag on the star cornerback.
Carolina did try to draft a deal with Norman in the previous offseason, but the two sides were very far apart on the details, with the cornerback confident enough in himself to know that his value will rise after the 2015 season. He said he would like to be paid along with the elite corners in the NFL.
Norman has only been making $1.59 million this season, despite delivering stats that matches the top corners in the league. He has yet to sign an extension and decided to play out this contract, apparently because he wants to pursue that top-tier salary-a move that implies the player is willing to leave Carolina to get it.
When asked about the possible franchise tag being placed on him, Norman replied, "From day one, I've always been cashing in on myself. If you don't cash in on yourself, who is going to do it for you? If you don't think you're doing your job, who's going to do it for you?"
The 28-year-old defensive backed that decision up with an excellent season in which he was selected to play in the Pro Bowl for the first time. Norman posted career highs with four interceptions, 18 passes defended, and three forced fumbles as well as two fumble recoveries.
Meanwhile, Thomas Davis has played in the recently concluded Super Bowl despite suffering an arm injury just a couple of weeks ago in the NFC championship game. The outside linebacker started at his usual spot for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday's event.
The 32-year-old Davis had undergone surgery 13 days ago to address the injury. The procedure involved 12 screws and one plate inserted into his right forearm. Many football enthusiasts have not expected him to recover in time for the Super Bowl, but Davis eventually defied the odds and joined the Panthers to face the Denver Broncos.
"I'm fine. It's one of those things where you go into the game with a game plan. We executed it from a body standpoint. The trainers did an amazing job of making sure I was ready to go and I didn't have any issues during the game," Davis said following his team's loss to the Broncos on Sunday.
Even with a cast covering his right arm, Davis still recorded seven tackles. On a third-and-short early in the first quarter, he closed in on Broncos running back C.J. Anderson and made a major tackle to force a punt. Furthermore, shortly after the game, Davis shared a photo on his Instagram account showing an image of his surgically repaired forearm (see below).
"This post is not about me, or how tough I am," his caption to the post reads. "It's not to shine any light on me or my injuries. Our team doctors and trainers did an amazing job giving me an opportunity to get back on the field. This post is strictly to show how much love I have for my brothers and #PantherNation. Thank you all for your support and we will #KeepPounding.-TD."
On Saturday, Davis was presented with the Bart Starr Award at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco for his outstanding community work in Charlotte.