CHARLOTTE -- General manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Ron Rivera took part in a pre-draft press conference on Thursday. Below is Gettleman's prepared opening statement on his decision to remove the franchise tag from cornerback Josh Norman.
"Since becoming the general manager, my philosophy has been to always do what's in the best interest of the Carolina Panthers, which means building a team to sustain success. I don't subscribe to the 'window' theory, that teams have a window and have to win now. I don't subscribe to the 'we're only one player away' theory, because in my mind football is the truest of all team games. Sustained success can be accomplished by being thoughtful and intentional with all roster decisions.
"When we decided to place the franchise tag on Josh, we were fine with him signing it and then working on a long-term deal. As we got deeper in conversations, we realized there was a significant difference in our thoughts and theirs. The intervening weeks gave us additional time to evaluate where we are going as a franchise. With the realization that a deal was not going to get done, our internal conversations kept leading us to the fact that the one-year deal was becoming less and less attractive. So we made our decision yesterday and we are moving on.
"I will say that all communications with Josh and his agent were professional and respectful in tone. We certainly respect Josh and all that he had done for us. As I said yesterday, we wish Josh well."