It seems that the “done deal” reported between the New York Giants and top free agent offensive lineman Andrew Norwell wasn’t so done. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the former Carolina Panthers guard will be signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars when free agency opens.
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
The signing, which made Norwell the highest paid offensive lineman (in average value) in the NFL, comes as a significant blow to the Giants’ offseason plans. The team was reportedly “All In” on signing Norwell, as GM Dave Gettleman was very high on the player as a foundation piece around which the team could rebuild their offensive line.
The Giants will have to move on to a plan B, which might involve Baltimore Ravens center Ryan Jensen.
Jensen emerged from the Ravens’ depth chart to be their starting center in 2017, and has also played both guard spots.
Kyle Barber of our Baltimore sister-site Baltimore Beatdown had this to say about Jensen:
After a couple seasons with the Ravens, Jensen transitioned from a role player into a starting caliber center. He’s turned into a strong run blocker and a smart pass-blocking technician.
I don’t believe last season is a ‘one-off’; he has grown in his skills for years. After finally was given the opportunity to start, he ran with it and put up good blocking. Unfortunately for the Ravens, it happened in a contract year.
The Giants could also look to retain former first-round pick Justin Pugh, who carries lingering injury concerns, but has also played left guard at an elite level as well as being a capable starting tackle.
There are, however, some indications that Pugh might not be favored by the new Giants regime:
Huge indictment that despite major O-Line need, Giants aren’t eager resign Justin Pugh. From Voice in building ‘Never Giants Tough. Cares more about Barstool than his craft.’ An even bigger indictment would be if Jaguars weren’t interested and Pugh’s Agent had to call elsewhere.— Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites) March 12, 2018
Stay tuned to Big Blue View as we bring you all the latest in the run-up to the Giants’ 2018 free agency period as we get it.