Tom Coughlin is about to get a little revenge on the Giants by spoiling the start of free agency for his old team.
Coughlin's Jacksonville Jaguars apparently swooped in overnight, and landed the Giants' top free-agent target - former Panthers guard Andrew Norwell. They have agreed to a five-year, $66.5 million deal, according to ESPN, that includes $30 million guaranteed. The per-year average of $13.3 million makes him the NFL's highest-paid guard.
The Giants were definitely interested in the 26-year-old All-Pro who broke into the league as an undrafted free agent when new Giants GM Dave Gettleman was running the Carolina Panthers - and their former coach, and current president of the Jaguars, undoubtedly knew it. Gettleman has made no secret of his desire to "fix" the Giants' offensive line, and adding Norwell was expected to be his most significant move.
On Monday, an NFL source had told SNY that the Giants and the San Francisco 49ers were the strongest bidders, and there had been buzz about the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts getting involved too. The Jaguars, who were in the AFC championship game last season, were not widely known to be in the running.
It was not immediately clear where the Giants will turn next for help on the offensive line. They could try to re-sign Justin Pugh, whom Gettleman praised two weeks ago at the NFL scouting combine. Other top guards available include the Titans' Josh Kline and the Saints' Senio Kelemete.