Santa Clara – Cornerback Josh Norman was at the height of his career five years ago, when he helped the Carolina Panthers reach the Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium and predicted he would one day return to the Bay Area.
“It’s beautiful here. it really is,” Norman said in February 2016 Interview before the Super Bowl defeat to Denver.
Apparently, it’s time to spruce up the 49ers’ depth chart.
Norman, 33, is joining the 49ers on a one-year deal, as first reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. The contract value is up to $2.5 million, Mike Garavolo of the NFL Network said.
Norman was at his flashy, ostentatious best in 2015 when he earned First-Team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors with the Panthers. He invested that in a massive contract that paid him $61 million over the next four seasons with Washington, then played last season on a $6 million deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Regardless of finances, 49 players might not pay Norman to start their playoff level defense.
Then again, health is an issue among their teams going back mainly to the start of last season, with the exception of Richard Sherman, who missed 11 games due to injury last season and is still without a signature.
Prospective players Jason Ferrett and Emmanuel Mosley trained last week and looked on target in the regular season opener next Sunday in Detroit. However, both have recently lost time with health issues: Verrett, due to plantar fasciitis, and Moseley, due to a hamstring problem.
Aside from nickel linebacker Cowan Williams, the only other players in the initial 53-man roster are juniors Diodore Lenoir and Ambre Thomas, as well as veteran Dontay Johnson, who missed training last week due to a hijacker injury.
The 49ers announced neither Norman’s signing nor a similar move to the roster, and it may not happen until Monday, when they will resume training after a three-day hiatus. Norman noted on his social media accounts that “a decision has been made and now there is only one thing left,” followed by a trophy emoji.
In the last hours before the breaking point.
A decision has been made! Now there is only one thing left… ?
DK?21′ # Oh, Lord! pic.twitter.com/Y89hoXMjl5
– * Joshua R Norman (@J_No24) September 5, 2021
A year before Kyle Shanahan took charge of Team 49, Norman was in town with the Panthers after the ensuing Super Bowl defeat to the Denver Broncos. The Bay Area scene captured Norman.
Norman said in February 2016: “I loved it, I woke up this morning, I opened my curtains and I saw the hills of the valley. It’s so wonderful.
“Yeah, man, it’s like a movie script, from The Lord of the Rings. It’s incredible. And then I moved to San Fran, and I looked at the roadside scene, and I was like, ‘Man, that’s really cool.'” I can probably picture myself here once or twice.”
While Washington and New Orleans Saints were Norman’s 2016 Free Agency finalists, the 49ers were headed for a 2-14 season under singles coach Chip Kelly, even though Norman praised the 49ers’ history.
“They’re fantastic, and one of the greatest teams we’ve had out of 32,” Norman said. “Their Super Bowls are epic. They’ve been greats all along. They’re right there with the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys in how they do things.”
Norman has 15 career interceptions, returning 2 of 4 with the 2015 NFC Champion Panthers. He started 95 of the 120 regular season games.
Two years after finishing second in Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium, he also finished second on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.