Cornerback Josh Norman, who suddenly became a free agent this week, quickly lost that status Friday when he signed a reported five-year, $75 million deal with Washington.
National outlets billed the pursuit of Norman, who helped Carolina to a Super Bowl appearance last year, as a two-team race between Washington and the 49ers. But the 49ers, while certainly interested, never were clamoring to sign the 28-year-old cornerback, who made the Pro Bowl last season. Norman’s first visit was to the Washington, D.C. area, where he was flown in on a private jet. He never scheduled a visit to San Francisco, and the Saints were reportedly his next-most ardent suitor.
The 49ers, who have an NFL-high $52.6 million in salary cap space, go into next week’s draft with veteran cornerback Tramaine Brock starting on one side of their defense. Competing for the other spot are Kenneth Acker, Marcus Cromartie, Dontae Johnson and Keith Reaser.