Los Angeles Rams LT Andrew Whitworth Retires After 16 NFL Seasons

“My chapter may have closed on the field, but my story is unfinished. Can’t wait for the next one,” Whitworth said Tuesday

One month after he helped the Los Angeles Rams win the Super Bowl LVI over the Cincinnati Bengals, veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth is bringing his 16-year NFL career to an end.

“My chapter may have closed on the field, but my story is unfinished. Can’t wait for the next one,” Whitworth announced Tuesday on Instagram. “Thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey!”

Whitworth, who spent five seasons with the Rams after signing on as a free agent in 2017, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All Pro, and is one of only five offensive linemen to play into their 40s and the oldest to start at left tackle.

During his career with the Rams, the 6-foot-7, 330-pound player started 71 games and ranked second in ESPN’s pass block win rate among offensive tackles, ESPN reports. In February, he became the first Rams player to win the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, which has been presented since 1970 and recognizes on-field performance and philanthropic efforts.

The Rams’ official website called Whitworth a pillar in the locker room and the community. He was voted team captain each year during his tenure with the team, and he served as a “mentor and leader not only to young offensive linemen but young players throughout the Rams’ roster.”

The Monroe, Louisiana native played football at Louisiana State before the Bengals selected him in the second round of the 2006 NFL draft. He stayed with the team for 11 seasons. Following the announcement of his retirement, the Bengals shared an image of Whitworth on Twitter, congratulating him “on an amazing career.”

Although Whitworth’s time as player No. 77 on the Rams has come to an end, he appeared to leave the door open about returning to the team in a different capacity, as he said he “can’t wait to fall in love with football in a whole new way.”

Asked at a Tuesday press conference what he plans to do next, Whitworth said he’ll continue “supporting” and “trying to help [players] be successful.”

“Whether I’m telling their stories. Whether I’m wearing their jersey and sitting in the stands, rooting for them. Or whether I’m wearing the same colors as them and invested in their success on the sideline, I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know where I’ll be, but I know this, I’ll be definitely a part of it in some way, some form, some fashion.”

Fans reacted to the news with excitement and support for Whitworth, with many saying they they want to see him recognized as a Hall of Famer in the near future.

One Twitter user wrote, “One of the best free agent signings the Rams ever made. Truly one of the greats & now going out on top as a SuperBowl Champion! Thank You.”

@mrs_whit77 added, “I’d argue nobody has been more important to the team than Big Whit. Thanks for everything. We’ll miss you on the field but we Hope to still see you on the sidelines with us somehow.”

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