Should the 49ers Take a Flyer on Josh Norman?
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Having an extended season like the San Francisco 49ers had makes them a little behind on offseason duties. It’s officially the time of the year where teams in the NFL look to “trim the fat” to get their salary cap in shape for free agency. Players who have lucrative deals are the “fat” that teams look to “trim”.
The reason behind that can vary, though it’s typically because the team doesn’t view the player as worth the cost. That is why the Washington Redskins decided to cut ties with cornerback Josh Norman. Washington will now save $12.4 million in cap space.
It is players like Norman who’re at the end of their rope that make for a solid acquisition on a contending team. While it’s not a severely lacking position, the 49ers could still use some depth at cornerback.
Now that he is a free agent, should the 49ers take a flyer on Josh Norman?
At this stage in his career, Norman’s name carries more weight than his actual gameplay. There is hardly anything that he does well anymore. It could be that he is up there in age now that he is 32 years old. To put things in perspective, in his first six seasons in the NFL, Josh Norman surrendered just 13 TDs in coverage. He’s allowed 16 in the last two seasons.
Age likely has played a factor as well as him getting exposed. Maintaining a high-level of play as a cornerback is challenging. It’s why there aren’t too many corners who have long careers of success. Eventually, they end up getting figured out or they become exposed as a scheme reliant player. Norman just isn’t worth the hassle even on “prove it” deal for the Niners.
His speed is the most notable that has declined in his game. There’s always dust that flies into his eye because of badly burnt he gets in games. What makes the 49ers defense so unique is their overall team speed. Every player can fly on the defense, with the exception of Richard Sherman. He’s already one too many slow guys on defense, but at least he’s able to provide stout coverage.
Norman just doesn’t provide any hope and it would not shock me if he’s out of the league by week one in 2020. If there’s any Washington player that was let go for the Niners to inquire about, it should be wide receiver Paul Richardson since they could use a vertical threat.
Regardless, even if he is willing to sign a nickel and dime deal, bringing in Josh Norman is not a thought the San Francisco 49ers should entertain.