CHARLOTTE -- The Panthers announced Wednesday that the team has rescinded the non-exclusive franchise tag on cornerback Josh Norman. Norman is entering his fifth NFL season and immediately becomes an unrestricted free agent.
"After a number of conversations with Josh's agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "We have decided to rescind the Franchise Tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well."
In 2015, Norman's career-high four interceptions helped the Panthers lead the NFL in interceptions (24), total takeaways (39), points off turnovers (148) and turnover differential ( 20). He contributed 16 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Norman was the sixth player in Panthers history to receive the franchise tag, joining punter Todd Sauerbrun (2003), tackle Jordan Gross (2008), defensive end Julius Peppers (2009), center Ryan Kalil (2011) and defensive end Greg Hardy (2014).
In four NFL seasons, Norman has played in 53 regular season games with 38 starts and totaled 172 tackles, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 35 passes defensed. He was selected out of Coastal Carolina by the Panthers in the fifth round (143rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.