UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport have reported that the Jacksonville Jaguars made a push overnight for Norwell, offering him a five-year deal worth $66.5 million, including $30 million guaranteed. Norwell intends to sign in Jacksonville.
Norwell has been priority No. 1 to Colts fans in free agency for the last couple months, but until tonight we haven’t heard about the Colts actually pursuing him. Now, it looks like the front runner New York Giants are going to have to beat out the Colts and San Francisco 49ers for Norwell.
He was undrafted out of Ohio State by the Panthers and new Giants general manager David Gettleman in 2014, so the familiarity is there. Norwell has been among the best guards in the league during his four-year career, culminating in a First-team All-Pro selection in 2017.
He is the best offensive lineman on the market and fills one of the Colts’ biggest needs. Outside of left tackle Anthony Castonzo and center Ryan Kelly, the Colts don’t have much to work with on the offensive line. In four years, Norwell has started 60-of-61 games (including playoffs) and has only been penalized six total times. He’s also only given up 6.0 sacks.
Whoever wins Norwell’s services is probably going to have to make him the highest-paid interior offensive lineman in the game. The current highest-paid interior lineman — Kevin Zeitler of the Cleveland Browns — makes an average of $12 million per year. Zeitler’s total deal was for five years, $60 million with a $12 million signing bonus and $31.5 million guaranteed.