Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Josh Norman's price tag didn't add up for Bucs

Tampa Bay was a possible destination for ex-Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, here returning an interception for a touchdown last season against the Bucs. But he wound up with Washington.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Tampa Bay was a possible destination for ex-Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, here returning an interception for a touchdown last season against the Bucs. But he wound up with Washington.

TAMPA — As late as Friday morning, the Bucs and Josh Norman had strong, mutual interest in working out a deal that would bring the Panthers' former franchise cornerback to Tampa Bay.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht recognizes and respects Norman's talent and impact, having competed against him twice a year in the NFC South. Last season against the Bucs, Norman had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, six tackles and four passes defensed.

But teams must place a limit on the value of every player, and Norman exceeded it. With as many as nine teams bidding, the Bucs simply felt Norman's salary got too rich to justify and pulled out of the sweepstakes Friday morning, long before he signed a five-year, $75 million deal with Washington with $51.1 million guaranteed. So this wasn't a case of the Bucs bailing after Norman chose to sign somewhere else.

Signing Norman, who was never expected to make it to free agency, would've been a huge plus to the Bucs, especially less than a week before the NFL draft. It would've removed any immediate need for a cornerback, which they might address with the No. 9 overall pick.

But Norman will be 29 in December. His average salary makes him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, eclipsing Arizona's Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million annually). Moreover, he would've been the Bucs' highest-paid player.

Norman would've looked good to fans in pewter and red, but he only cared about the color of money.

Groundwork for Glennon trade?: The signing of CFL QB Dan LeFevour last week positions the Bucs well, with Ryan Griffin already on the roster, to trade backup Mike Glennon.

It's unlikely a deal would happen before the NFL draft. But the Jets, Broncos and Browns would all seem to be in the market if they don't land a quarterback on the first day of the draft. Licht would prefer to keep Glennon as insurance for Jameis Winston, who took every snap last season. Glennon has 18 starts in the league and is better than most available veteran backups. He's also cheaper at $1.5 million. But if Licht can get a second-round pick for Glennon, he probably makes the deal.

Two losses led to four: Winston says the four-game losing streak to end the 2015 season can be traced directly to the loss of two key players — WR Vincent Jackson, who suffered a knee injury, and LB Kwon Alexander, who was suspended four games for violating NFL policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

"I still say today losing Kwon was a big thing because he was one of our leaders," Winston said.

Alexander doesn't run from the fact that he let teammates down and vows it will never happen again.

"It's very important. I take all the heat for that," Alexander said. "I was supposed to have been there; that's my fault. But it won't happen again, though. I've never been in trouble (before) or anything, so that surprised me when that happened and it hurt me so bad, to the point like, every game I was still there, watching it and calling plays so I was making sure that I stayed on my game regardless. That's why I just can't wait to get back to the field and let everything out."

Even with Pro Bowl players such as Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David, Alexander sets the emotional tone for the defense.

"Yeah, he's the main one. You can't even get him to shut up," David said. "He's talking all day, all day. We're always around each other, so I have to hear him talk all day, and sometimes I tell him, 'You have to chill. I'm tired of you talking, you talk too much,' but that's just how he is, that's the excitement that we have. I'm sure he's probably the same way about me, but that's the excitement we have.

"The sky is the limit for us this year."

Josh Norman's price tag didn't add up for Bucs 04/23/16 [Last modified: Saturday, April 23, 2016 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with critical series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.