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NFL Free Agency 2018: Andrew Norwell to Giants called “done deal”

Report indicates Giants are expected to land their primary free-agent target

NFL: Carolina Panthers-Training Camp
Andrew Norwell
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It has been common knowledge in NFL circles for a while that the New York Giants would like to begin the reconstruction of their offensive line by signing Carolina Panthers All-Pro free-agent guard Andrew Norwell. They could be getting their wish when the free agent signing period opens March 14.

Draft Analyst Tony Pauline, who has had his ear to the ground at the NFL Combine in recent days, reported Tuesday morning that Norwell to the Giants is a “done deal.”

If so, it will be an expensive deal for the Giants. Spotrac estimates that the 26-year-old Norwell will get a five-year, $58.9 million deal, $11.7 million annually. That is probably conservative. Many expect a Norwell deal to exceed the five-year, $60 million deal Kevin Zeitler got from the Cleveland Browns a year ago.

With the salary cap expected to be $177.2 million for the 2018 season, Pat Traina broke down the Giants’ current cap situation. At $24.2 million projected under the cap, a mega-deal for Norwell would eat up a big chunk of that cap space.

More about the offensive line

Pauline expects Giants center Weston Richburg to be “scooped off the free-agent market very quickly.”

What about Justin Pugh? Could the Giants possibly find a way to keep Pugh, probably to play right tackle, if they sign Norwell. Spotrac estimates Pugh’s value at four years and $25.6 million, $6.4 million annually. Pugh will have suitors despite his injury history. Can the Giants pay him that kind of money, or more, if they sign Norwell? Would they want to?

Another free-agent target for the Giants could be Baltimore Ravens’ center Ryan Jensen. Both he and current Giants’ restricted free agent Brett Jones also have the ability to play guard.

There have been reports that D.J. Fluker is likely to move on after one year with the Giants. A source tells me that neither Fluker nor veteran guard John Jerry, who remains on the roster at least for now, appear to be in the team’s plans.