Andrew Norwell vows not to disappoint teammates

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Peruse a list of offensive lineman contracts and one name near the top sticks out: Jacksonville Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell.

The Jags paid the former Carolina Panthers blocker a boatload of dinero last offseason: a five-year, $66.5 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. At the time it was the highest contract for a guard in NFL history. Norwell's deal remains the seventh-highest in annual average among offensive lineman -- Zack Martin is the only non-tackle above him.

It's an understatement to say that Jacksonville didn't get its return on investment in the first year of the contract. Norwell struggled with injury and consistency in 2018. The 27-year-old was hampered by a calf strain to open the season. He then struggled when on the field, particularly in the run game, and earned the lowest blocking grades of his career from Pro Football Focus.

Norwell's first season with the Jags ended after just 11 games when he went on IR with an ankle injury in late November.

Entering Year 2 in Jacksonville, Norwell is ready to turn over a new leaf.

"It's no excuse, but it wasn't my healthiest season," Norwell said, via The Florida Times-Union. "I battled through it and ultimately had a significant injury there and that ended my season. I was very disappointed. I'm not going to let my teammates down like that again."

The year before signing his big-money deal with the Jags, Norwell was a 2017 first-team All-Pro selection in Carolina. The six-year pro vows to get back to that level with the Jags.

"I was my same self," he said. "I just struggled through some injuries the whole year. I really just couldn't get healthy. I wasn't practicing consistently every week. It was just pretty tough on me. You know what? That's why you fall back on your fundamentals and work hard. What got me here, you just fall back on that."

A healthy and productive Norwell would go a long way in upgrading the Jags' offensive outlook in 2019 with Nick Foles under center.

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