Curran: Why not Josh Norman for Patriots? Here’s why not


Curran: Why not Josh Norman for Patriots? Here’s why not

In four NFL seasons, cornerback Josh Norman has made $3,284,448, according to

He’s 28 – turning 29 before the end of the 2016 season. Originally a fifth-round pick from Coastal Carolina, he was very good in 2014 and arguably the best corner in football in 2015, getting some Defensive Player of the Year attention, being named All-Pro and helping the Panthers get to the Super Bowl.

No player in the league deserves to change his pay grade more than Norman. And he owes it to himself and generations of little Normans to make sure he does.

This week, the Panthers rescinded the franchise tag they placed on Norman that would have paid him $13.9 million this year. Norman wanted a long-term deal. The Panthers weren’t meeting his wants. He was untethered.

Now, with teams circling him, the question in every market is, “Why not here?”

So why not the Patriots?

Because signing him to an offer he’d deem suitable is going to cost about $80M with at least $30M guaranteed. Those figures are ballparked based on the five-year, $62.5M ($28.8M guaranteed) deal the Giants recently gave to Janoris Jenkins, a good, 27-year-old player that’s not as good as Norman.

The Patriots are, according to our guy Miguel Benzan at, a little more than $5M under the current salary cap.

They have contract extensions to do with Malcolm Butler, Jamie Collins and Donta Hightower in the next 10 to 15 months. All of those will be Pro Bowl-level deals. They also have a Hall of Fame tight end who may or may not be irked about the deal he agreed to a few years ago.

Bringing in Norman for the price he’d command would blow up the team’s pay structure. Could they do it? Yes. They could absolutely screw Butler by letting him play for the $600,000 this year and then – since he’s a restricted free agent next year – sign him to the high-tender offer and milk the undrafted kid with no leverage for the first four seasons of his NFL career. Then they could give Norman the money they would have paid Butler.  

That would be cold.

And it still would mean that, whatever the team paid Norman would raise the financial antennae of Collins and Hightower. It’s incumbent on players to have a “where’s mine?” mentality in this sport and – if you’re asked to launch yourself into 30 car crashes every Sunday knowing that your good health is your best attribute after the 2016 season – wouldn’t you instinctively protect the ability to find yours?

It would be bad juju.

As for Norman deciding the honor and opportunity of playing for the Patriots would be worth taking less, no. He doesn’t fit that profile.

A guy such as Darrelle Revis, who needed a revitalization in 2014 and already had made a ton of money in this profession? Absolutely. A guy like Chris Long who was the No. 2 overall pick in 2008 and has made his $80M but never been in a postseason? Definitely.

A player at the height of his powers who’s made less in his career than what the Patriots paid Chad Ochocinco for one awful season in 2011?

No. This would not be prudent for him. And it wouldn’t be prudent for New England either. And both sides know it. 

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots RB Danny Woodhead announces retirement

Former Patriots running back Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement after 10 years in the NFL.

The 33-year-old took to Instagram to make it official.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Thursday, it was reported the Patriots reached out to Woodhead for a possible reunion. 

The last two seasons have been challenging for him, as he dealt with season-ending injuries in both 2016 with the Chargers and 2017 with the Ravens.

Woodhead finishes his career with 2,238 yards rushing, 2,698 yards receiving, 15 rushing touchdowns and 17 receiving touchdowns.


NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: C's win despite injuries, Pats make additions

1:20 - Despite throwing a depleted roster out there, the Celtics were able to get back in the win column vs. the Magic. Michael Holley and Tommy Heinsohn break down the win.

6:17 - Finally, the Patriots have done something! On Friday night it was reported that New England signed defensive end Adrian Clayborn as well as running back Jeremy Hill. Tom Curran, Alex Giaimo and Ben Volin discuss the impact these additions will have on the team.

11:05 - While the Celtics were able to pull out the win on Friday, the team did announce that Marcus Smart is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing thumb surgery. A. Sherrod Blakely expresses his optimism on Smart’s return for the playoffs.