LOS ANGELES — One month after winning his first Super Bowl, the oldest starting tackle in NFL history is calling it quits. Former Bengal Andrew Whitworth announced he is retiring after 16 years.
Drafted by the Bengals in 2006, Whitworth spent 11 years in Cincinnati before signing with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017. Though the LSU grad saw individual success with the Bengals, the team could not win a playoff game during his tenure.
Whitworth made two Super Bowl appearances with the Rams. In what would be the final game of his NFL career, Whitworth helped L.A. defeat his former team to win Super Bowl LVI. After the game, NFL Films captured Whitworth telling his children he would retire.
"I'm going to be home with you guys, OK?" Whitworth said. "Promise, I'm going to be a better dad. I'm going to be around more. I'm going to coach the crap out of you boys. We're going to have some fun."
Though he's had plenty of success on the field, Whitworth has also been celebrated for his work off the field and in the community. He was named the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year, an award the NFL considers its "most prestigious" honor, for his work in L.A. While accepting the award, Whitworth recalled a moment when a fellow player spoke about how much his work in Cincinnati meant to him.
Whitworth said Detroit Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes, a Covington native, spoke about the time Whitworth spent at the local Boys & Girls Club.
"He said, 'Hey man, you're not going to remember me...you spent time with me when you were a young player in Cincinnati at the Boys & Girls Club, and it meant the world to me," Whitworth recounted. "He goes, 'You know what, the main thing I wanted to say, Whit, I made it. I made it to the NFL, Big Whit.'"
Though he will retire as a Ram, the 40-year-old said no amount of time will change his family's love for the Bengals and the city of Cincinnati. Before Super Bowl LVI, Whitworth shared video of his wife, Melissa, celebrating the Bengals' AFC Championship win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Whitworths have spoken about their love of the Bengals fanbase and belief that the team's core will continue to bring the franchise success. The two have also made clear they will be back in Cincinnati — especially to eat at some of their favorite restaurants.
Andrew Whitworth's family will always root for the Bengals — just not in Super Bowl LVI
'I made it to the NFL, Big Whit': Former Bengal Andrew Whitworth recounts special moment with Tri-State native Derrick Barnes