The San Francisco 49ers are one of the teams that have called to inquire about former Carolina Panthers and now unrestricted free agent CB Josh Norman, per Joe Person, a beat writer for The Charlotte Observer. Other teams that have shown early interest include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Miami Dolphins.
Niners, with a ton of cap space, among teams that called about Josh Norman, per source. Others incl. Bucs, Steelers, Dolphins.— Joe Person (@josephperson) April 21, 2016
As reported earlier, the Panthers announced Wednesday that they have rescinded the non-exclusive franchise tag on Norman, immediately making him an unrestricted free agent. The 49ers currently have $52.6 million in cap space.
RELATED Panthers rescind franchise tag on CB Josh Norman, making him a free agent
Norman expressed a great deal of fondness for California leading up to the Panthers' loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. "I've loved it," Norman said leading up to the big game. "I woke up this morning, opened my curtains and saw the hills of the valley. It's so gorgeous."
According to Pro Football Focus, Norman had the third highest coverage grade among corners last year (+16.8) and led all corners with a passer rating allowed of 54.0.
The 49ers could use Norman. They had the 27th ranked pass defense in the league last season, allowing 261.2 yards per game. Norman was part of a Panthers defense that ranked 11th in the league against the pass. The shutdown corner started all 16 games last season for Carolina and had four interceptions for 110 yards, two touchdowns, 18 passes defended, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.