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Redskins, Saints are front-runners for Josh Norman

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A pair of NFC teams have emerged as front-runners for the services of free-agent cornerback Josh Norman.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Redskins and New Orleans Saints have separated themselves from the pack, per a source informed of Norman's thinking. Wasting no time, the former Panthers star visited the Washington Redskins on Friday.

Rapoport added that Norman spoke with Saints coach Sean Payton on Thursday night about the Saints' interest in him, according to sources informed of the situation.

Along with the 'Skins and Saints, Norman has heard from roughly 10 teams, according to Rapoport, who listed the 49ers, Buccaneers, Titans, Jaguars and Bears on Thursday as other potential landing spots for the All-Pro cover man. Norman hit the open market Wednesday after Carolina shockingly rescinded his non-exclusive franchise tag.

After hiring Ryan Williams of Athletes First to take the lead on his contract negotiations, Norman refuses to rush the process, but would like to have a deal in place before the draft, per Rapoport.

The Redskins sit just $11,682,340 under the cap, according to OvertheCap.com. They can't match the Niners on the immediate-cash front, but general manager Scot McCloughan could creatively structure a long-term deal to entice Norman's camp. The Redskins weren't considered a major candidate out of the gate, but Washington appears determined to make a run at one of last year's most impressive players.

The Norman drama dropped into our lap out of nowhere, but it's a juicy subplot heading into next week's draft. Look for him to find a new home very soon.

UPDATE: Norman signed a five-year, $75 million deal with the Washington Redskins on Friday.

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