Los Angeles has made a significant move to help protect quarterback Jared Goff and pave the way for running back Todd Gurley, agreeing to terms with free agent left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a three-year contract.
The 35-year-old offensive lineman has played his entire career to this point in Cincinnati, making the Pro Bowl in 2012, 2015, and 2016. Selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Whitworth began his career as a guard before shifting over to left tackle in 2009. He's been among the league's most durable linemen as well, starting all 16 games in seven out of the last eight seasons — including each of the last three. In all, Whitworth has started 164 games either at left guard or tackle in his 11-year career.
Noted website Pro Football Focus named Whitworth its No. 26 player of the 2016 season, noting he allowed just one sack from Week 6 to the end of the regular season.
From PFF: "There is no more perennially underrated and under-appreciated tackle than Andrew Whitworth of the Bengals. He ended the 2016 season with the league's best pass-blocking efficiency score (98.0), allowing just 14 total QB pressures across 561 pass-blocking snaps. Whitworth recorded six games this year in which he had perfect pass-protection games. His run blocking was solid, albeit not the strength it has been in seasons past."
With Whitworth coming on as the club's left tackle, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez reported the Rams will likely shift 2014 first-round pick Greg Robinson over to the right side — either at guard or tackle.
Whitworth joins a position group that currently includes Robinson, Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown, Cody Wichmann, Tim Barnes, Rob Havenstein, Andrew Donnal, Darrell Williams, David Arkin, Demetrius Rhaney, and Pace Murphy.