The 49ers have shown interest in free-agent cornerback Josh Norman, but he is expected to attract bigger money elsewhere, a league source told CSNBayArea.com on Thursday.
The 49ers have asked Norman to make a visit to Santa Clara. His first trip is scheduled for Friday to meet with Washington coaches and officials, including former 49ers general manager Scot McCloughan. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network was first to report Norman's scheduled trip to Washington. It is not known if Norman will make a visit to meet with the 49ers.
Norman became a free agent on Wednesday when the Carolina rescinded their $13.952 million franchise tag for the All-Pro cornerback. Norman sought a $16 million annual salary from the Panthers, the Charlotte Observer reported.
Norman is expected to sign a deal that averages from $14 million to $15 million as a free agent, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on Thursday. Five-year contracts are being discussed with Washington and the 49ers, according to the report.
The 49ers have $52.6 million in cap space, according to NFLPA figures. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars ($54.2 million) have more room under the $155.27 million salary cap.
On Wednesday, before the Panthers’ decision on Norman’s franchise status, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke discussed his reluctance to pursue free agents at the opening of the new league year.
“As you know, we’ve never been huge believers in the opening market of free agency because, let’s face it, no matter who you take in the opening market, you’re overpaying them,” Baalke said.
The source said the 49ers were likely hoping for a “soft market” for Norman. It is unlikely the 49ers will enter a bidding war that could make him the highest-paid player on the team, the source said. The 49ers "like the player," but the source said Norman's style might not be a perfect fit in the team's defensive scheme.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is currently scheduled to make a team-high $14.3 million in salary and bonuses in 2016.