The performance of the Jacksonville Jaguars offense has been kind of a mixed bag through the first three weeks of the 2019 NFL season. The pass protection overall has been really good, with the team only giving up a total five sacks through three games, most of which came in Week 2 against the Houston Texans with a few injuries.
The big issue has been running the football, namely on the interior of the offensive line. One of the biggest issues has been veteran Andrew Norwell, who seems to have just been constantly pushed off his spot and beat week in and week out this season, following up his injury riddled poor 2018 season.
Norwell signed a five-year, $66.5 million deal prior to the 2018 season in NFL free agency with $30 million guaranteed. So far, Norwell has played shockingly below that valuation and I would argue he has been the worst offensive lineman this year for the Jaguars.
Many would paint that role to A.J. Cann, and while Cann has left a lot to be desired, Norwell seems just like an absolute disaster on the offensive line in both run and pass protection. There has been some speculation that now that Cam Robinson is back and ready to play a full game at left tackle, that Will Richardson can focus back at playing guard, which many think means right guard since he was in the process of overtaking Cann at that spot in the preseason.
But, what about left guard?
I don’t think the Jaguars will bench Norwell anytime soon because of their investment in him, however there is an ability to get out of his contract after the season that will save you $5.5 million in cap room, but carry a $9 million dead cap hit. If Norwell’s play continues the way it has since he got here I don’t think it’s out of question that will happen, but could Norwell end up benched sometime this season in favor of Richardson at the left guard position?
If the Jaguars are going to make a push for the playoffs through their next run of games that all seem very winnable, they’re going to need to be able to actually run the football and they’re going to need to see significantly better play from their interior offensive lineman.