Los Angeles Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth retires after 16 NFL seasons and comes out on top

Andrew Whitworth emerges victorious.

The 40-year-old Los Angeles Rams left tackle announced his retirement on Tuesday, ending a 16-year NFL career that he capped with a Super Bowl victory over his former team.

He made the announcement in a video posted on Instagram.

He had been back and forth in public comments about whether the 2021 season would be his last. Whitworth was quoted in December as saying the only way he could retire was if the Rams couldn’t afford it “or there’s just another way it doesn’t work for both of us for me to come back.” But two days before Super Bowl LVI, Whitworth sounded like he was ready to call it a career if the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, the team he spent his first 11 seasons with.

“If I was going to do it, what an unreal way, no matter what to leave,” Whitworth said on Feb. 11. “I don’t know if I have anything left to do after this point. So we’ll see.”

Whitworth’s resume includes four Pro Bowl selections (2012, ’15-17) and two First Team All-Pro selections (2015 and ’17). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he became the only player to start at left tackle in an NFL game at age 40 after reaching that age in December.

In his five seasons with the Rams, Whitworth started 71 games and ranked second in ESPN’s pass block completion rate among offensive tackles.

He was named the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

“He’s definitely meant a lot to this organization on and off the court,” Rams coach Sean McVay said during the 2021 season. “I think sometimes you take it for granted that he’s 40. If you didn’t know with the bald head and stuff like that, I mean he moves like he’s young and has great athleticism.

LSU’s second-round pick in 2006, Whitworth started 168 games with the Bengals during his 11 seasons in Cincinnati. The Rams made him one of their first free agent additions under McVay when they signed him to a three-year, $33.75 million deal in 2017. Whitworth was one year away from 30 million over three years that he signed in 2020.

His retirement will save the Rams $15.5 million in cap space, according to the Roster Management System. Los Angeles was about $19 million over the 2022 salary cap on Sunday, per RMS.

Whitworth replacement Joe Noteboom agreed to re-sign with the Rams on Monday to a three-year deal worth up to $47.5 million, with $25 million guaranteed, a source told Lindsey ESPN’s Thiry. Center Brian Allen is also back, with his three-year contract worth $24 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday.