Former Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell will sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars after a deal with the New York Giants was supposedly done.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Norwell will sign a five-year, $66.5 million deal with $30 million fully guaranteed. He will have an average salary of $13.3 million, making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.
Former Panthers’ G Andrew Norwell intends to sign with the Jaguars on a 5-year deal for $66.5 million, including $30M fully guaranteed, source tells ESPN. He is going to become NFL’s highest paid guard – $13.3 million average.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2018
Norwell signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent in 2014. The Panthers wanted to keep him but couldn’t because of a tight salary cap. Last year the guard was named a first-team All-Pro for the first time in his career. He was graded as the number three in the league in 2017 by Pro Football Focus. He was the only lineman that didn’t allow a sack or a quarterback hit last year, per Pro Football Focus.
All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell didn't allow a sack or QB hit all year, according to @PFF. And we know his forte has always been mauling people in the run game. Heck of a season.
— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) January 5, 2018
With Norwell going to the Jaguars, the Giants will have to look elsewhere as they rebuild their offensive line. The Giants need at least two guards. Justin Pugh, who will be a free agent on Wednesday, is one option. However, the Syracuse University product has missed 13 games over the last two seasons, so the Giants might not want to reinvest in the injury-prone Pugh.
Senio Kelemete of the New Orleans Saints, Ryan Jensen of the Baltimore Ravens, Chris Hubbard of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cameron Fleming and Nate Solder of the New England Patriots, and Jack Mewhort of the Indianapolis Colts are other options for Big Blue.
The addition of Norwell is a huge upgrade for the Jaguars offensive line. Blake Bortles will be more protected with Norwell on the offensive line. In 2017, the Jaguars led the league in rushing attempts (527) and rushing yards (2,262). Look for the Jaguars to run the ball even more in 2018 with Norwell.