Chicago Bears free agency: Be careful with Josh Norman

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (24) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers cornerback Josh Norman (24) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi /

Cornerback Josh Norman became a free agent on Wednesday. The Chicago Bears were one of several teams inquiring on him. They need to be careful they don’t end up with a one-hit wonder, however.

This has been an offseason with a ton of activity. Players have made a lot of movements, and teams have traded away king’s ransoms to move up in the draft.

Some teams have also made moves that added big names into the free agency pool late in the game. Safety Donte Whitner became a free agent a couple of weeks ago, for example.

Now, the player many have as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Josh Norman, became a free agent as well.

The Carolina Panthers felt they could not come to terms with Norman on a long-term contract, so they decided to rescind their franchise tag on him, thus making him available to any team.

The Chicago Bears are one of several teams who showed interest in Norman. They have a need at corner, and they still have cap space, so signing him should be a no-brainer, right?

Not so fast.

I am not sold on Norman as one of the top cornerbacks…yet.

Pro Bowl quarterback Chris Harris was speaking to reporters when he was asked about who he thought were the top-five conerbacks in the NFL.

“I would say (Richard) Sherman, (Darrelle) Revis, Pat (Peterson) had a great year last year, me and (Aqib) Talib,” Harris said.

Wait, no Norman?

Nah, you gotta do it more than one year,” he said. ” … It’s about being good for a long time, not just one year.”

I agree with Harris.

Yes, Norman had a tremendous season last year. He recorded 56 tackles, intercepted four passes (returned two of them for touchdowns) and forced three touchdowns in helping Carolina reach the Super Bowl.

As Harris said, you cannot be the best after just one good season.

Norman is looking for a contract with at least $15 million per year salary average. THAT IS MORE THAN WHAT REVIS IS MAKING!

I am sorry, but Norman is not on the level of Sherman or Revis.

Another reason to be careful with Norman is that the Panthers played a zone defense. That means Norman defends an area, not a player.

The Chicago Bears are more of a man-to-man defense. They would need to think that Norman can be a shut-down man corner, something he has yet to show.

A lot of people get enamored with the numbers a player puts up, but do not dive into those numbers. The Carolina system had a lot to do with Norman’s production.

A third reason to be careful on Norman is his attitude.

Don’t get me wrong, I like players with an edge. If a player has the goods, I don’t mind him saying it.

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The problem I have with Norman is that he may go overboard, and get into it with players and get himself out of his game, like what happened when he matched up with Odell Beckham, Jr.

Also, you have to look at the Panthers taking such a drastic measure with Norman, when they could have at least had him for one more year, then giving them more time to get together on a contract. Something told them things were going to go south quickly, and perhaps that might affect his play.

The Chicago Bears need to be careful with this. General manager Ryan Pace has done a good job so far of remaking this team, and he has to do his homework to see if signing Norman does not hurt the mix of players he has.

Next: Chicago Bears To Meet With Ezekiel Elliot

There are some good cornerbacks available in the draft, and perhaps that may be the best route to go for the Chicago Bears.