Multiple sources have said in the past two months that Washington plans to release Norwell once he’s able to pass a physical. He’s dealing with a right elbow injury that has lingered all offseason.
Norwell hurt his hip in Week 17 and did not play in the regular-season finale, but he has recovered from that injury.
Washington would save $2.28 million if he’s released before Thursday — and does not receive a post-June 1 designation. The Commanders could save $4.38 million against this year’s salary cap with a post-June 1 designation.
Washington signed Norwell to a two-year contract last offseason to be their starting left guard. But coaches considered his play inconsistent, and they wanted more youth along the line. Washington coach Ron Rivera said the Commanders plan to have Saahdiq Charles, a 2020 fourth-round pick, and Chris Paul, a seventh-round choice in 2022, compete for the starting left guard position.
Norwell made first team All-Pro with Carolina in 2017, when Rivera was still the Panthers‘ coach. He then signed a five-year, $66.5 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, becoming, at the time, the highest-paid guard in NFL history. Norwell had made the Panthers as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State in 2014.
Washington also released veteran corner Cameron Dantzler on Tuesday.