FILE – In this Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015 file photo, Carolina Panthers’ Josh Norman gestures in the end zone after breaking up a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant during the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. Josh Norman, one of the NFLs top cornerbacks, is now an unrestricted free agent after the Carolina Panthers surprisingly rescinded their non-exclusive franchise tag offer to the All-Pro, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade, File)
The Saints tried to make an unexpected splash
Despite only having $3.45 million in cap space, New Orleans made a push to sign cornerback Josh Norman before he agreed to terms with the Washington Redskins, according to a source.
The former Carolina Panther had initially been given the franchise tag earlier this offseason, but the team pulled it back on Thursday, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Given the limited cap space, the Saints would have needed to get creative to fit him on the roster. And it’s possible that the $75 million he will reportedly receive over five season priced him out of New Orleans.
Though the Saints could be interested in adding a cornerback during the draft, the look at Norman was likely more the result of trying to take advantage of an opportunity than a foreshadowing of things to come.
New Orleans currently has cornerbacks Delvin Breaux, Keenan Lewis, P.J. Williams, Damian Swann and Kyle Wilson at the top of the depth chart. Lewis (hip), Swann (concussions) and Williams (spent rookie season on injured reserve) are all working their way back from injury.
Breaux and Lewis are the expected starters. Lewis has said on social media that he is now healthy. He appeared to react to the news about Norman on Friday night with a post on Instagram.
“Never worried about competition, it always brought the best out of me,” Lewis wrote. “Injuries slowed me down, a healthy me will get me and my team a crown. Thanks for making the comeback even better. September can’t come fast enough.”