NFL Free Agency Rumors: Rams Re-Sign Andrew Whitworth To Three-Year Contract
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency has not gotten off to a great start for the Los Angeles Rams as they have lost four key defensive players in Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler Jr., Michael Brockers and Nickell Robey-Coleman.

They rebounded nicely to replace Fowler though with the signing of edge rusher Leonard Floyd, formerly of the Chicago Bears.

L.A. also sured up its offensive line by bringing back Austin Blythe, who has played both guard and center for them. It looks like their offensive line will be in good shape in 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that they are also bringing Andrew Whitworth back on a three-year contract:

The deal is reportedly for $30 million, but only $12.5 million is fully guaranteed:

There had been plenty of speculation regarding Whitworth’s future after playing out the final season of the three-year deal he signed with the Rams back in 2017. After all, the team had ushered in some significant changes this offseason and it appeared they may have been looking to go in a more youthful direction.

The changes began once Los Angeles parted ways with left guard Rodger Saffold and center John Sullivan heading into the 2019 NFL season. Unfortunately, it seems they may have overlooked the importance of having two reliable veterans up front after they experienced a huge drop-off on offense with their unproven replacements.

As a result, the Rams missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record just a year after they had made it to Super Bowl LIII. The disappointing year then spurred head coach Sean McVay to make some serious changes to his coaching staff with the departure of Wade Phillips, John Fassel, and Skip Peete.

With all the adjustments being made in recent years, Whitworth had good reason to believe that his future remained uncertain. Fortunately, it appears Los Angeles may be viewing the veteran as a stabilizing piece to help their offensive line get back on track before his inevitable retirement.

Although Whitworth has long been in the final stretch of his illustrious career, he is still the best lineman that the Rams have on the roster. More importantly, it seems the 38-year-old is feeling healthy enough to keep it going for at least another year. There likely will be some sort of outs built into the contract if he doesn’t want to continue playing for three years.

Now that Los Angeles has managed to take care of perhaps the most important piece on the offensive line, they can focus on making sure that the rest of the group is up to par. They will have at least another season with Whitworth as the foundation before they are forced to address another notable void.