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Josh Norman Agrees to 49ers Contract After 1 Season with Bills

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist II

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Josh Norman, the team announced Monday.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports first reported the agreement on Sunday. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported Norman can earn up to $2.5 million in the deal:

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Josh Norman can earn up to $2.5 million on this deal with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a>, source says. Had other interest as well. Gets a deal with a base value above the minimum. <a href="https://t.co/p4Ah8BC4fN">https://t.co/p4Ah8BC4fN</a>

Norman, 33, is entering his 10th NFL season. He played nine games last year for the Bills, amassing 24 tackles, four pass breakups and a 16-yard pick-six in Week 17 against the Miami Dolphins.

He played four seasons apiece for the Carolina Panthers and Washington Football Team before his one year in Buffalo.

Norman is best known for being the heart and soul of a tough, ball-hawking 2015 Panthers secondary that helped guide the team to an NFC title and Super Bowl 50 appearance. He earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors that year.

David Lombardi of The Athletic and Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area posited why the 49ers made the move and what it means for the depth chart.

David Lombardi @LombardiHimself

Interesting. Josh Norman is 33 and will be 34 this season, but I figure he’ll take the spot of Dontae Johnson on the 53-man roster as vet CB depth (unless there’s an injury we don’t know about) <a href="https://t.co/82Rk5wH99h">https://t.co/82Rk5wH99h</a>

Matt Maiocco @MaioccoNBCS

Josh Norman, 33, started 11 of the 21 games he appeared the past two seasons with Washington and Buffalo. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a> reportedly add depth behind starters Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley. <a href="https://t.co/4YHmYuiGz3">https://t.co/4YHmYuiGz3</a>

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Norman is a good addition to a 49ers team looking to contend after an injury-riddled season that ended with a 6-10 record and last-place NFC West finish. The 49ers won the NFC the year before and still have numerous pieces from that team, so a bounce-back season is in the cards if the team stays relatively healthy.

Adding a solid player like Norman can only help if there are secondary injuries. Pro Football Focus notably approved of his efforts in 2020:

PFF @PFF

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/49ers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#49ers</a> are signing CB Josh Norman per <a href="https://twitter.com/JayGlazer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JayGlazer</a>.<br><br>Norman: 72.4 grade in 2020 (17th among CBs) <a href="https://t.co/RqCWRwkdSU">pic.twitter.com/RqCWRwkdSU</a>

The 49ers open the regular season on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

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