As LA Rams Andrew Whitworth suits up again, retirement is nearing
By Bret Stuter
This is not our impersonation of Chicken Little running around crying out that the sky is falling. It’s not a panic attack, a sudden cry for liferaft, or a sign of the imminent arrival of Armageddon. It’s simply a story about the long and honorable career of the LA Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth. He has performed at an incredible for a long and storied career.
But folks, prepare to turn the page.
No, not this year. The LA Rams are counting on him to return and start at left tackle and were likely in constant communication with him throughout the offseason. And that communication is indicative of the maturity and level-headed nature of a long-term veteran. That decision to come back is as much about his dedication to the team as it is about a need to put on the pads.
Venerable Whitworth brings so much wisdom back to the team
Andrew Whitworth is the oldest active starting offensive lineman in the NFL. And now, the NFL has lengthened the season through 17 regular-season games. You can tell that Whitworth is the glue of the offensive linemen, he has become the COVID-19 workout epicenter for his teammates through the restricted access of team facilities.
In the offseason, the Rams wanted Andrew Whitworth back, and Whitworth wanted to come back. Even though he had an incredible season, he fell to injury and was unavailable for half of the season. That removed any leverage that he may have had in the offseason and resulted in his agreeing to take a substantial pay cut to help the team get under the 2021 salary cap.
The conversation is relatively benign. It’s a press conference where Andrew Whitworth is an honest open communicator. The guy is a soft-spoken blue-collar mentality and has a lot to say about the team, his coaching staff, his quarterback, and his teammates.
Whitworth shares a great insight that he empathizes with Matthew Stafford, as both are arriving from a struggling midwest football and arriving at a successful team with an entirely new team. He does a great softshoe of not directly comparing former quarterback Jared Goff and newly arrived quarterback Matthew Stafford.
This is a great interview, and certainly gives a much broader view of the team. I like what I heard, and I love the fact that the Rams still have Whitworth in their 2021 plans. But I also hear the realization that this will not be lasting forever. And that’s the reality of the LA Rams offensive line.
Even as the front office must plan to re-sign or extend players for the 2022 season, they must also be aware that Andrew Whitworth may retire soon.