Long before he does anything with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has a pile of work to do.
And one of the first orders of business will be fixing his offensive line, and one of his former players might be the answer. And while it’s going to be expensive if he wants to bring in Panthers All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell, Gettleman wasn’t exactly balking at the potential price tag.
The market for top guards has skyrocketed, with the Browns setting the bar when they gave Kevin Zeitler a five-year, $60 million deal last offseason. Norwell would figure to be in the same neighborhood, and while Gettleman didn’t speak specifically about him, he was asked whether there was value in paying any guard $12 million a year.
“There isn’t a quarterback alive that’s going to get in the huddle and say, ‘OK, boys, let them up the middle. I’ll deal with it,'” Gettleman said. “You need to be firm in the middle. So at the end of the day if it’s keeping your quarterback upright and out of the hospital. . . .
“There’s a bunch of guards now that are getting paid. And if you think about it, they’re closer to the quarterback. Listen, it’s the market. Is that car worth $150,000? If someone buys it, I guess it’s worth it, you know what I mean?”
While short of a declaration, that’s a pretty good omen for Norwell, who Gettleman signed as an undrafted rookie in 2014. The Giants have Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg headed to free agency as well, but they need major upgrades on the line if they want to give Eli Manning a chance this season.