The free agent market could soon be flooded by offensive linemen. Specifically, there are three quality offensive guards who could potentially become available soon.
On Thursday, CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported that the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are shopping, respectively, Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Norwell in hopes of finding a trade partner, but that other teams anticipate the two players being released instead. On Friday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Los Angeles Chargers are doing the same with Trai Turner, and that it looks as if he'll also be released if not traded in the near future.
The news comes as teams strain themselves to get under the salary cap before the opening of the new league year on March 17. Zeitler is set to count for $14.5 million against the cap in 2021, but the Giants can shave $12 million off that figure by releasing or trading him. Norwell is set to carry a $15 million cap charge, but the Jaguars can trim $9 million from that total by releasing or trading him prior to June 1, or $12 million by designating him as a post-June 1 release. Turner carries a non-guaranteed salary of approximately $11.3 million, all of which the Chargers can wipe off their books by cutting ties.
Considering the relative lack of strength of the interior offensive line market in free agency, all three players would be well-positioned to be sought after once they hit the market. The fact that they would not be subject to the compensatory pick formula would work in their favor as well, perhaps making them more attractive to certain teams that would like to acquire impact players without affecting their ability to get comp picks. Norwell is the oldest of the three players at 31, so they should all have plenty left in the tank for their next team.