If you're a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers who has paid attention to any draft coverage about the team, you would know that defensive backs and specifically cornerbacks have been a position of priority for some time now.
So when the Carolina Panthers removed their franchise tag on their top cornerback in Josh Norman, it was natural that social media and sports news pundits would ponder as to the chances that Norman could be wearing a Steelers' jersey in 2016. There was even a report that Pittsburgh was one of the clubs which called to ask about Norman's availability and what he would be looking for in free agency.
But anyone who knows the Pittsburgh Steelers knows that the team's general manager, Kevin Colbert, is not one to spring a ton of money for a free agent defensive back; especially when the organization has several key players on big contracts with many more important negotiations on the horizon.
Today, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review confirmed what many of us already expected:
Steelers not pursuing Josh Norman and will not pursue Josh Norman, according to CBS. Hmm, all you needed was a brain to figure that out.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) April 21, 2016
Norman will most likely be asking for top-dollar cornerback money, something he was scheduled to receive under the Carolina Panthers' franchise tag prior to their removal of the tag. Norman's release opened up almost $14 million in immediate cap space for the Panthers and took them off the hook for trying to sign Norman to a multiple year deal which reportedly he had been seeking somewhere between $15 million and $16 million.
That kind of money would not be spent by Pittsburgh for a 28 year old free agent cornerback, especially when the likes of David DeCastro, Le'Veon Bell, Ryan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, Markus Wheaton and more are all within one or two seasons of needing to be re-signed.
To quote the Steelers' fearless leader in head coach Mike Tomlin, the report that Pittsburgh will not be going after Josh Norman should be "obvious."