Bills GM says team spoke with Josh Norman but expects corner to explore options in free agency

Josh Norman got a head start on 2020 NFL free agency when the Washington Redskins released him earlier this month, and the former Pro Bowl cornerback already appears to have multiple teams on his radar.

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane said at the NFL Scouting Combine his team has spoken with Norman since the 32-year-old defensive back hit the open market, then indicated Norman is likely to tour other opportunities before making any kind of decision.

“We have looked into him and even talked to him,” Beane said, as documented by the Bills’ official website. “Nothing more than that. I’m sure he may have some other teams that he’s looking at beyond Buffalo. Probably a similar situation to Greg Olsen, he’s in a spot where he’ll be able to choose where he wants to go. I don’t know what his plan will be (or) whether we’ll come to any type of agreement.”

In other words, the Bills were probably just doing their due diligence. Beane, of course, was the Carolina Panthers’ assistant GM while Norman was still in Charlotte, and current Bills coach Sean McDermott is Norman’s former defensive coordinator. A year after their secondary helped power one of the NFL’s top defenses, Buffalo isn’t exactly in dire need of CB help, but the Bills do have Kevin Johnson, a former first-round draft pick signed in 2019, scheduled to hit free agency in March.

Norman, meanwhile, should probably be grateful for any market he gets. The outspoken All-Pro was once one of the game’s up-and-coming cover men, particularly around the time he went from Carolina to Washington, who made him the NFL’s highest-paid CB with a five-year, $75 million deal. The last two seasons, however, he’s been on and off the bench while being victimized on plenty of deep touchdowns, and in 2019, he was limited to eight starts while battling a lingering hamstring injury. Washington saved an estimated $12.5 million in 2020 salary cap space by cutting him this offseason.

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