JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars haven't offered Josh Norman a contract.
To hear Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell during the team's 2016 pre-draft luncheon Friday, it doesn't sound as if that will change.
Norman, a Pro Bowl cornerback who became an unrestricted free agent Wednesday when Carolina – his former team – unexpectedly rescinded the franchise-tag offer they extended last month, was a major topic at the luncheon.
Caldwell said the Jaguars hadn't yet offered Norman a contract, that he didn't expect that to change Friday and that the Jaguars were never close to bringing Norman to Jacksonville for a visit. He also said he expected Norman could sign with the Washington Redskins Friday.
Caldwell called the difference between what the Jaguars were willing to offer and what Norman wanted was "pretty significant."
"There are a lot of dynamics that go into it," Caldwell said. "He's a good player. I think we'll work to stick to what we value.""
View photos of General Manager Dave Caldwell and Head Coach Gus Bradley at Friday's draft luncheon.
Caldwell declined to offer specifics on the discussions "out of respect to the player," adding that while he liked Norman's size, length and ball skills he didn't know that adding Norman would make the Jaguars "significantly better."
"It would make us better, but to what level – I can't qualify that," he said.
Caldwell said the Jaguars did not discuss a trade with the Panthers for Norman in the event he signed the franchise tag, and he also said the Jaguars didn't consider signing Norman to an offer sheet. Signing him to an offer sheet would have meant giving the Panthers two first-round draft selections had Norman signed the offer and Carolina declined to match.
Caldwell toward the end of his conversation with writers following the luncheon spoke generally about his approach to high-priced free agents.
"Sometimes some of these guys are being asked to be paid like quarterbacks," he said. "It's hard to do now, you know? I think you have a line where you kind of cut it off. The elite guys may get close to quarterback money, but if they're not elite – and you don't think they're elite – then it's hard to do."
A few other takeaways from Friday's luncheon:
*Caldwell said he remains open to a trade back in the first round but that he doubts he will trade up. The Jaguars hold the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, the first round of which will be held Thursday. "It depends on the value," Caldwell said of how far he might trade back. "I don't think there's a limit, but I would think if there's going to be a bold move by somebody from the late teens of 20s it would be done well before [the first night]." …
*Caldwell said the team has removed 32 players from the draft board for character reasons and 11 for medical reasons, with fit also playing a role in the removal of those players. …
*Caldwell said Ohio State edge player Joey Bosa and Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner – both considered possibilities at No. 5 – both could play multiple positions on the defensive line. "They can play anywhere," he said, adding that Buckner could play nose tackle, three-technique and four- and six- technique. "He can rush with power from the edge and with power from inside," Caldwell said. "The only thing he probably wouldn't play is Leo." He added of Bosa, "Bosa is probably a six-technique, maybe down the road as an inside rusher. … Different skillsets but I think their jobs would probably be the same."
*Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said he had no issue with adding Bosa or Bucker to a line that already includes players such as Jared Odrick, Malik Jackson and Sen'Derrick Marks. "If you ask me, I'd like to have Group A and Group A," Bradley said. "Let's just rotate. Here's a four, let's go. Here comes another group of four and let's go. Keep guys fresh and let's keep the pressure on and keep that competition going.' When you say things like that, 'Gus, how about this skill-set?' That's not a concern if you get enough. I think you can never have enough guys that can be disruptive." …
Caldwell also said he didn't have a fundamental issue against trading with a team from the AFC South. …