CB Josh Norman is visiting with the Washington Redskins today, but apparently the New Orleans Saints are making a strong push to sign the highly sought after free agent, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. He reports that the decision has come down to Washington and New Orleans.
As CB Josh Norman is with Redskins, Saints are making strong push to sign him, per sources. Decision down to Redskins and Saints.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 22, 2016
Early on, the San Francisco 49ers were believed to be one of the front-runners to acquire Norman. While the 49ers have asked Norman to visit the team's headquarters in Santa Clara, per CSN Bay Area, there is currently no visit planned.
Norman became a free agent on Wednesday when the Panthers rescinded their franchise tag for the cornerback, immediately making him a free agent. Norman is expected to sign a deal in the range of $14 million to $15 million per year over 5 years, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. That's a lot of money to commit to one player, but the 49ers have $52.6 million in cap space according to the NFLPA.
The 49ers don't typically pay top dollar on free agents, a strategy that has kept them from acquiring additional talent this offseason, despite a large amount of cap space.
To sign Josh Norman, Saints would have to get creative with contract, as only Chiefs have less cap space than NO, which has $3.44M cap room.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 22, 2016
Washington has nearly $12.2 million in cap space according to the NFLPA.
Norman could have filled a big need for the 49ers defense, which finished last season ranked 27th in the league against the pass, 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.