It was no secret that former Ohio State OG Andrew Norwell would be landing a huge new contract during NFL free agency, but the Buckeye will now be the highest paid guard in the league with a new 5-year, $66.5 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to Adam Schefter. With $30 million in guarantees, it’s no wonder Norwell is expected to accept the deal.
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
Coming out of Ohio State as an undrafted free agent, he slowly earned his stripes and became a pivotal player on Carolina’s offensive line. Norwell hasn’t missed a game since the 2015 season, and was voted to the Pro Bowl for his dominant effort in 2017. His breakout season came at the perfect time, and gave him a lot of leverage heading into free agency.
As much as the Panthers would have liked to keep Norwell on their line, it wasn’t entirely surprising that they couldn’t afford to keep him. Having already signed his counterpart to a big-money deal last season, they wouldn’t be able to match the $13.3 million a year price tag he was able to fetch.
Interior line didn’t seem like a massive need for the Jags. They already had a pretty effective run game last year and the fifth-best sack rate, but this makes both of those areas even better. Norwell, according to PFF, was the best pass blocking guard in the league last year. One less excuse for Blake Bortles to stink.
Still, five years at $66.5 million and $30 million fully guaranteed feels like a luxury move.
Norwell has to be happy with the outcome, and will now be headed to a Jaguars team on the rise.
Buckeye Free Agents
|Nate Ebner||FS||28||NE||Re-signed (NE)|
|Carlos Hyde||RB||26||SF||Signed (CLE)|
|Jake McQuaide||LS||30||LA||Re-signed (LA)|
|Jack Mewhort||G||26||IND||Re-signed (IND)|
|Andrew Norwell||G||26||CAR||Signed (JAX)|
|Terrelle Pryor||WR||28||WAS||Signed (NYJ)|