In case you haven’t heard, LA Rams Offensive Tackle Andrew Whitworth hinted at plans of retirement when he went on Chris Long’s podcast, ‘Green Light’. During that podcast (which you can catch right here). The best moments come in the first minute and a half. But the entire podcast is worth the listen.
During the podcast, Whitworth admitted that he set a goal when he injured his patella early in his career, set a goal of playing until he reached the age of 40 years old. At that time, it seemed like an overly ambitious reach goal. That was then, this is now. Now, Andrew Whitworth faces his 40th birthday this year. How does that line up with his career plans? Will he retire after this year?
"“I feel like this will probably be the end, but also, all my closest friends will tell you that I’ve said that for about seven straight years, so I don’t know how believable it is, but it feels like it is.” = per Andrew Whitworth"
Could this be Andrew Whitworth’s final season?
True veteran leadership
When the Rams signed offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth in 2017, he instantly became a solid addition not only to the offensive line but to the entire team. Whitworth has been a great player on the field as well as a leader for us off the field. For starters, he’s one of 22 active NFL players to captain their team for four-plus years.
Los Angeles Rams
Even though he signed a record deal for a non-quarterback aged over 35 years old ($30 million over three years), I would still argue it’s a team-friendly contract. And this summer, he also restructured his deal, forgoing $3 million in the process and helping out the team’s cap situation immensely.
At 39 years old, he is the oldest offensive tackle in the league and the second-oldest non-special-teams player in the league behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. Last year, he played healthy through the first half of the season. After the week nine bye-week, he suffered a torn MCL and damaged PCL in a 23–16 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10. Prior to the injury, he was having arguably one of his best seasons of his lengthy career.
Due to this injury, he missed the rest of the regular season. He did, however, commit to returning to play in the post-season. Miraculously, he was able to come back for the team’s Wild Card matchup against, you guessed it, the Seattle Seahawks. His return, although very morale-boosting, was a bit early as he seemed to be less effective after his return.
Prior to last year, Whitworth had only missed nine games in his 14-year career. As he gets older, the chances of him being not only healthy but productive diminish. The consistency he was able to bring to the Rams is incredibly important in the NFL, but father time will ultimately win out, and Whitworth knows he’s cutting it close.
I sincerely hope he is healthy this year because the LA Rams line looks a bit thin even with him starting. He has one more year left on his deal after this season, and I am sure in one year’s time I will be begging for him to come back, but for now, I am wishing for one more solid season from Whitworth. I hope the Rams are able to give him the ultimate sendoff into retirement.