Sakamoto: 49ers On All-Pro CB Josh Norman’s Short List


In an unexpected turn of events, the Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag on All-Pro CB Josh Norman instantly making him an unrestricted free-agent.

The move was made because the two sides couldn’t agree on a long-term deal, while Norman was reluctant to sign the one-year deal. A contract that fully guaranteed $13.952 million for the upcoming 2016 season, Norman and the Panthers have now officially parted ways as Norman will now shop his services to other NFL teams starting with Washington on Friday.

According to a source via ESPN, Norman was seeking a deal around $15-$16 million per season while the Panthers were well below that asking price coming in at $11 million.

“After a number of conversations with Josh’s agent we realized that a long-term deal was not attainable,” Panthers GM Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “We have decided to rescind the franchise tag freeing Josh to immediately become a UFA. We thank Josh for all his contributions and truly wish him well.”

So where do the San Francisco 49ers come into play? According to Adam Schefter, they are on Norman’s short list of teams he would like to play for. The 49ers have an abundance of cap room after doing little in free-agency. I asked GM Trent Baalke why he decided to go that route. “It’s like buying a stock at it’s high,” Baalke told me.

However, when you have an opportunity to sign an All-Pro player with roughly $52 million of cap space to work with, it’s probably best to aggressively pursue that player especially after finishing 5-11 the previous season.

In four seasons, the 6-0, 197, shutdown cornerback has recorded 139 tackles, 7 interceptions (2 returned for TDs), and 36 PBUs.


Ryan is the Founder/CEO of, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at or call him at (408) 622-0996.