Thursday’s reports on cornerback Josh Norman suggested that Washington and the 49ers were the frontrunners for the former Panther, with both teams discussing five-year contracts. Norman is headed to D.C. first, which could give Scot McCloughan‘s club the upper hand in negotiations, but nothing has been finalized yet.
Here are the latest Friday updates on Norman’s situation, with new items added to the top of the list throughout the day:
- Norman is down to Washington and the Saints, who are making a legitimate push for him, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). The Saints have the second-lowest cap space in the league ($3.44MM), so they’d have to get creative to sign Norman, Schefter adds (on Twitter).
- Norman did file the necessary paperwork on his agent switch, but there are still some logistics to work through as the corner tries to avoid having to wait five days to sign somewhere, per Albert Breer of NFL.com (Twitter links).
- The 49ers are “in deep” for Norman, tweets CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, and ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (on Twitter) that they and Washington are in a two-team race for his services. However, Michael Silver of NFL.com doesn’t expect San Francisco to make a serious run at signing Norman (Twitter link).
- Norman has family with him at Washington‘s facility, including his mother, reports John Keim of ESPN (Twitter links). That would seem to bode well for the team in its attempt to reel in Norman.
- Norman is in Washington as the team’s facility now, and it would be a surprise if he left without a deal in place, according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
- Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) hears that, in addition to Washington and the Niners, there are three more teams who are “strongly in [the] running” for Norman. Two of those clubs are the Jaguars and Buccaneers, per Cole’s source. Based on the Jags updates below, it doesn’t sound as if Jacksonville is a probable landing spot for the star cornerback.
- Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) would be surprised if Norman lands with any team besides Washington or the 49ers, and adds that the deal is expected to be worth upwards of $15MM per year, which would make him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. Norman will likely reach an agreement by Saturday, says Cole.
- The Titans have been cited as a potential suitor for Norman, but after exploring the possibility, the team won’t be in the mix, says Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com. Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones also confirmed, unsurprisingly, that Norman’s price tag is too rich for his team (Twitter link via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
- Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com lays out a few reasons why the Panthers may have decided to move on from Norman.
- Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell, who acknowledged his team has interest in Norman (as noted below), admitted that the two sides are far apart on the cornerback’s perceived value. Caldwell added the Jags haven’t made a formal contract offer, and talks didn’t progress to the point where a possible visit was discussed (all Twitter links via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union).
- Norman is scheduled to arrive in Washington and begin his visit with the team this afternoon, as Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Per Anderson, Norman is inclined to keep his options open and explore other opportunities, while Washington will make a strong effort to sign him before the visit ends.
- As Mike Jones and Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post explain, Norman informed his agent – Michael George – on Wednesday that he was firing him, but the paperwork for that move has yet to be filed with the NFLPA. If Norman were to officially fire George and move forward with agent Ryan Williams, he would have to wait five days before negotiating a new contract. As long as both agents are technically representing him, Norman can enter into contract talks immediately.
- Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell confirmed today that his team has “continuing interest” in Norman, and is doing its homework on the standout cornerback (Twitter link via Tad Dickman of the Jaguars).
- Lions wide receiver Golden Tate would “love” the chance to be teammates with Norman in Detroit, but GM Bob Quinn has been noncommittal about the idea of pursuing the corner, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.