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49ers sign veteran CB Josh Norman; release CB Dontae Johnson

Depth, or is there something more to this signing?

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Kyle’s update, 10:35 a.m.: To make room for Norman, the Niners announced they released CB Dontae Johnson.

The San Francisco 49ers signed veteran free agent cornerback Josh Norman, per Jay Glazer. Norman, 33, started 11 games during the past two seasons with Washington and the Bills.

Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley both sat out during portions of the preseason due to an injury. So when you sign a veteran cornerback the week before you play a game, is it because one of your starters is hurt? My question would be, why else would Norman sign now?

Either that or perhaps the team isn’t satisfied with the depth behind Verrett or Moseley. At the same time, outside of Verrett and K’Waun Williams, there are a lot of young players at cornerback. There’s value in having a player with his experience, but Norman has struggled at his recent stops.

Normal has a Pro Bowl and an All-Pro season under his belt, but that was back in 2015. Norman has allowed 65, 67, and 66 percent of his targets to be completed during the past three seasons, with each season surrendering more than double-digit yards per completion. In addition, Norman has allowed an eye-popping 16 touchdowns during the past three seasons compared to five interceptions.

We’ll have an idea once Kyle Shanahan or DeMeco Ryans speak to the media about what Norman’s role would be and if he’s in the building due to an injury.