The bully is building.
The AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars, on the heels of one of their best seasons in franchise history, are signing Andrew Norwell, the prize of the interior free-agent OL market.
The former Carolina Panthers' left guard, a first-time first-team All-Pro in 2017, is expected to sign a five-year, $66.5 million pact including $30 million guaranteed. It places Norwell in the top five among annual earners at the OG position and No. 1 in guaranteed money, blowing by Oakland Raiders' Kelechi Osemele ($25.4 million).
The deal also addresses arguably Jacksonville's greatest need, as the NFL's No. 1-ranked rushing attack is in great shape at the pivot with Brandon Linder and on the edges with Cam Robinson and Jeremy Parnell but had a replacement-level starter, free agent Pat Omameh, at left guard.
Norwell, 26, was reportedly the favorite to land with the New York Giants and GM David Gettleman, who drafted him in Carolina. Instead, it's former Giants coach-turned-Jaguars football czar Tom Coughlin luring Norwell to one of the NFL's true upstart clubs.
Pairing Norwell with Robinson and 2017 fourth overall pick Leonard Fournette enhances Jacksonville's powerful run-first identity on offense and turns what was merely an average offensive line into another potential strength.