Andrew Whitworth gives up $3 million to help LA Rams cap

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams were stuck between a rock and a hard place in their effort to squeeze under the NFL salary cap for the 2021 season. And the impossibly low chances of finding enough money to sign players critical to the success of the new NFL season was disheartening, to say the least. Of course, the Rams organization had a plan, as they always do.

But the plan relied upon the cooperation of players. To some, it was less painful, merely an accounting trick called restructuring where money is no longer called salary, but rather given a designation of bonus so accountants for the team can spread that cap over more years.

To others, the impact was far more drastic. The terms of compromise never happened between the Rams and veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers reached an impasse. The Rams needed savings which meant concessions. Brockers, a player who had just made concessions in 2020, had made enough. As a result, the Rams traded him for next to nothing to the Detroit Lions.

But it didn’t end there.

One more selfless act

The Rams needed more. The team needed to tap almost all the players on the roster with significant contracts. One man stepped up to the plate, once more. The Los Ageless one, Big Whit, offensive left tackle Andrew Whitworth. He just signed a three-year contract to return in 2020.

Yes, the 38-year-old offensive lineman who just performed better than any other season for head coach Sean McVay. The same offensive lineman who injured his MCL in game nine, rehabbed for several months, and was on the field starting at left tackle in the Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs.

As soon as the Rams asked Andrew Whitworth to help, he did. This is not a cap space article. It’s about the leadership of a veteran offensive lineman who is about gettin’ ‘er done. He stepped up to help the team out of a tight jam. Will it make a difference. Most certainly. But not in just money.

True leadership shines through

To his teammates, Andrew Whitworth gave back so that others could receive. It was a small act to some. But on top of a standout season, coming back from injury, showing up for the playoffs to start, it was just one more characteristic of true leadership. Leading by example.

Some cite a concession of Andrew Whitworth of $3 million. While the details of how that took place, it does seem that the folks over at have reflected that concession in his salary cap calculation. In return, $4 million of this 2021 salary is not guaranteed.

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A leader can be many things. He can be the player who plays lights out in a season when the team needs great play on a football field. He can be the player who returns and rejoins his teammates at the start of the NFL Playoffs. He can be the player who gives of himself, his time, and his energy to help out the Los Angeles community in so many ways. But if you are confused about what makes a good leader on an NFL team, Andrew Whitworth is a great place to start.