For some time, it was assumed that former Carolina Panthers guard Andrew Norwell is headed to the New York Giants. According to a report by Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com, the San Francisco 49ers have been "linked" to the top guard in free agency.


Norwell, who is just 26 years old, was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State by the Panthers in 2014. The Giants are viewed as the leading candidate to land Norwell because of general manager Dave Gettleman. He held the same role with Carolina when Norwell signed in 2014.

Norwell was named a first-team All-Pro in 2017 and has started all but one of his 55 game appearances over his four NFL seasons, including 16 starts in each of the last two seasons. He did not allow a sack, was Pro Football Focus' third-highest graded guard, and the top-graded pass-blocking guard in 2017. In 2016, Norwell allowed just two sacks for the season.

Adding a player like Norwell would be huge for the 49ers, whose weakness along the offensive line is clearly along the interior. San Francisco re-signed center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year deal on February 14 and tackle Garry Gilliam, who has experience at guard, to a two-year extension on February 27.