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Pro Bowl cornerback Josh Norman signs with the San Francisco 49ers

It was just a few short years ago that Josh Norman was among the best cornerbacks in the NFL. A stellar performance with the Carolina Panthers back in 2015 led to him signing a five-year, $75 million contract with the Washington Football Team.

Things have been downhill for Norman since. That’s the bad news. The good news? He’s latched on with a playoff contender with less than a week to go before the 2021 NFL regular season gets going.

According to Fox Sports NFL insider Jay Glazer, Josh Norman has signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

Norman, 33, appeared in nine games (three starts) for the Buffalo Bills last season. He recorded 24 tackles, four passes defended, an interception, and a touchdown.

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Impact of the San Francisco 49ers signing Josh Norman

josh norman signs with san francisco 49ers
Jan 3, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman (29) returns an interception against the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

According to Pro Football Focus, Norman ranked 17th among cornerbacks with a 72.4 grade for the Bills last season. After signing a one-year, $6 million deal in Western New York, he was placed on injured reserve ahead of Week 1 with a hamstring injury. Norman then missed a game later in the season after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.

As for the 49ers, they needed more depth heading into Week 1 against the Detroit Lions. The team is without two former starters in Richard Sherman (free agent) and Ahkello Witherspoon (Pittsburgh Steelers).

Right now, San Francisco is slated to rely on Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley as its two starting cornerbacks. Rookies Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir are also expected to play big roles. It’s one of the Achilles’ heels for the team as San Francisco looks to bounce back after an injury-plagued 2020 campaign.