ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Saints have entered the mix and are making a “strong push” to sign free agent CB Josh Norman. Schefter adds that Norman’s decision is down to the Saints and Redskins.
- According to Ian Rapoport, Saints HC Sean Payton called Norman personally and they’re now in talks.
- Mike Garafolo reports that Norman’s expected price tag is now at $15 million per year and there’s a chance it could top that figure by the time they have an agreement. Garafolo adds that the Saints are “in it for sure.”
- In regards to the 49ers, who were considered a “front-runner” at one point, Matt Maiocco reports that they were only interested at “the right price.”
New Orleans is still in a tough cap situation, so it would require them getting creative with his contract and their roster.
Jason Fitzgerald points out that the Saints could probably get Norman’s figure down to between $4-$5 million in 2016, even with paying him $15 million per year.
One of the easiest ways for the Saints to free up some cap space would be to sign QB Drew Brees to an extension, as he currently counts $30 million against their 2016 cap. New Orleans could cut that figure in half by signing him to an extension.
Even withe the Saints’ late push for Norman, it could be tough to get him to leave Washington and visit New Orleans. It’s possibly, but these situations typically favor the team hosting the player.
- John Keim reports that Norman actually has family members with him for his visit with the Redskins including his mother.
- Jason La Canfora reports that the Redskins’ initial offer to Norman was over $13 million per year.
- La Canfora adds that the 49ers are “in deep” while the Jaguars, Titans and Buccaneers are all monitoring the situation.
- Ian Rapoport reports that the Redskins sent a plane to pick Norman up, which actually makes it more difficult for him leave without a contract.
Earlier, Cole reported that it was a “two-team race” between the Redskins and 49ers, but it appears as though a few teams are still keeping their options open in regards to Norman.
According to Cole, Norman is likely to secure a deal that will pay him over $15 million per year from whoever he signs with.
Washington, obviously, has the advantage right now, seeing they’re hosting him for a visit. Cole adds that Norman is from the East coast would prefer to stay there. On top of that, the Redskins really need a solid No. 1 cornerback with all the talent at receiver in their division.
As for the 49ers, Cole mentions that they have a ton of cap space and could be willing to break the bank for a guy like Norman, who fits a big need for them.
- Paul Kuharsky reports that the Titans were initially interested in Norman, but are no longer in the mix for him.
- Meanwhile, Peter Schrager adds that the rumor around the league is that a deal between the Redskins and Norman could be completed by the end of Friday.
- Schragers adds that it’s expected to be a big contract for Norman.
- Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reports that the 49ers have requested a visit with Norman, but he obviously plans to meet with Washington first.
Washington is meeting with Norman on Friday, which is typically a good sign for an interested team, especially when you consider that the Redskins were DeSean Jackson‘s first visit and prevented him from meeting with other teams.
However, the 49ers are reportedly in the mix as well along with some other teams monitoring the situation.
- Rapoport adds that there’s still plenty of interest in Norman from other teams including the 49ers, but Washington gets the first shot at getting him under contract.
- Jason La Canfora reports that talks are ongoing with other teams, despite Norman meeting with the Redskins on Friday. The 49ers are reportedly “pushing” for a deal, while the Buccaneers, Jaguars and Titans are monitoring the situation.
- According to Adam Schefter, Norman is expected to receive between $14-$15 million per year in his next deal on a five-year agreement.
- Jason Cole adds that the Dolphins are not expected to pursue Norman.
- La Canfora adds that the 49ers also have “very strong” interest in Norman, as well as some other teams.
- Ian Rapoport confirms that the 49ers and Redskins are considered the “front-runners” to sign Norman.
Last night, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reported that the 49ers are expected to be the “early front-runner” to sign Norman.
However, much of the day has considered of reports regarding which teams have inquired about him up to this point. As of now, the list of teams with interest is reportedly up to 11 and includes: the Giants 49ers, Redskins, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Steelers, Bears, Rams, Titans, Jets and Dolphins.
Norman is expected to sign with a new by the start of the draft next week and it sounds like he’s in line to receive a long-term contract, rather than just a one-year deal. One report specifically mentioned that Norman could look to surpass the five-year, $62.5 million contract signed by Giants CB Janoris Jenkins.
Norman, 28, is a former fifth-round pick of the Panthers back in 2012. After playing out the final year of his four-year, $2,299,000 rookie contract, Carolina elect to use their franchise tag on him over a month ago.
However, the Panthers surprisingly rescinded their offer on Wednesday, making him an unrestricted free agent.
In 2015, Norman appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 56 tackles, four interceptions with two being returned for touchdowns, three forced fumbles, two recoveries, and 18 pass defenses for the Panthers. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 6 cornerback out of 118 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Best Available Free Agents list.