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49ers linked to free agent guard Andrew Norwell

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The New York Giants are viewed as heavy favorites to land the top guard on the market, but the 49ers have money to burn.

Fooch’s update: Art is offering a little more on the 49ers “pushing” for Norwell

The San Francisco 49ers have a big need at guard, and they might be looking to make a splash when free agency gets going. The 49ers are currently being linked to top free agent guard Andrew Norwell, according to New York Giants beat writer Art Stapleton.

The Giants have been regularly connected to Norwell, and are viewed as a heavy favorite to land the top guard on the market. However, as the free agency negotiation period gets going, the 49ers and potentially the Arizona Cardinals have now been linked to him. Giants GM Dave Gettleman gives them an edge given his time in Carolina, but money talks.

The 49ers could have Joshua Garnett back in the fold this fall, but even if he does return, they still need options for the other guard position. Norwell would instantly upgrade the position, and provide much needed help around center Daniel Kilgore. Pro Football Focus named him their All Pro left guard, ranking him second in the league in pass blocing efficiency, and first in run block success rate.

Free agents can negotiate with teams through Wednesday, and then officially sign starting at 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday afternoon. If the 49ers can get him into town for a visit, they won’t be able to lock him down right away, but given the momentum they’ve built, it could be an easy sell for what they can do with him.