The San Francisco 49ers could end up in a bidding war with Washington for the services of Josh Norman, and we are starting to hear potential numbers. Adam Schefter is reporting that Norman's eventual deal is expected to be worth $14 million-$15 million per year, and he is looking for a five-year deal. Norman is visiting Washington on Friday, and while the 49ers are reportedly quite interested, they have not scheduled a visit. Well, it at least has not been leaked yet.
That is some serious money, and would potentially make Norman the highest paid player on the 49ers roster. Colin Kaepernick would likely remain the highest paid, but that could obviously change with a trade.
The 49ers have significantly more cap space than Washington, but getting a deal done would likely not be that difficult. A 5-year $70 million deal would likely include some serious signing bonus money, which makes it easier for Washington to get the deal under their cap. If San Francisco is serious about their interest, a big first year base salary would make more sense since they can afford the cap hit.
One other thing to factor in is taxes. While he would pay the same federal taxes anywhere, he would pay significantly more in California than anywhere else. California's top tax bracket pays 13.3 percent in state taxes. If Norman signed with Washington, he would join a team with offices and practice facilities in Virginia, and a stadium in Maryland. My guess is he would live in Virginia, where the highest state tax rate is 5.75 percent. My guess is he would live in Virginia, particularly since DC itself has an 8.95 percent tax rate. Maryland is 5.75 percent as well, and he might still have to pay a "jock tax" for playing his games in Maryland. Some states have enacted laws to collect taxes for athletes playing games there, even as visiting teams.
Hypothetically, if he got a $10 million signing bonus, he would pay $1,330,000 in state taxes to California. If he was in Virginia, he would pay $575,000 in state taxes. Yes, he'd be making a ton of money either way, but that's nearly $800,000 in savings just on the signing bonus. It's a disadvantage for California sports teams.