As the Jacksonville Jaguars presumably prepare themselves to toss the keys to the franchise to yet another quarterback prospect in 2021, namely consensus No. 1 overall talent Trevor Lawrence, it seems unlikely Andrew Norwell will be around to try and protect him -- the starting guard currently locked in an unpleasant conversation with head coach Urban Meyer and the team's front office. The 29-year-old is reportedly the target of a potential pay cut this offseason, per Albert Breer of SI.com, with the Jaguars having approached him with the goal of achieving a common ground but having yet to do so.
Norwell hasn't given the green light to take less just yet, if he will at all, and it's likely because the Jaguars don't technically need the cap savings for anything they'd like to do this offseason. While the NFL and NFLPA work to agree on what the final 2021 salary cap will be -- -- based upon the current agreed upon floor of $180 million, the Jaguars are owners of $81.71 million in space, most in the entire league.
That number means little to what the Jaguars are seemingly looking at though, and that's the fact Norwell is set to own approximately 7.09 percent of the team's cap this year, per Spotrac, to the tune of a robust $15 million that includes a $12 million salary and prorated $3 million signing bonus. This makes him the largest coming cap hit for the team, ahead of even linebacker Myles Jack, who'll hit the cap for $12.15 million. And if Norwell doesn't agree to take less, the Jaguars will reportedly shop him for trade, Breer added.
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The 2017 All-Pro signed with Jacksonville on a five-year, $66.5 million deal that included $30 million guaranteed after leaving the Carolina Panthers in 2018, the contract making him the highest-paid at the position at the time. He's since battled some injuries, but missed only three games in 2020 and none the year before, overall logging 40 starts since 2018 and an average of 82.33 percent of their offensive snaps over the past three seasons.
Norwell has been a stalwart in the trenches and tasked with protecting whatever quarterback they chose to go with at any given point in time, but it doesn't seem likely he'll get a shot at doing it for Lawrence -- or whatever QB they choose select atop the 2021 NFL Draft.