The Los Angeles Rams have had the worst offense in the NFL for two straight seasons. While there are a number of reasons which contribute to that, it does not take a football genius to know that offensive success begins and ends with the offensive line.
Now, the Rams have finally found the answer to their questions at left tackle in the form of three-time Pro Bowler, Andrew Whitworth. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Los Angeles has structured a three-year, $36 million deal with the veteran lineman:
#Rams deal for Andrew Whitworth: 3 years, $36M w $15M guar, including $2.5M guar in Year 2. Deal pays more $13M in Year 1 and $24.5M over 2
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
The signing of Whitworth essentially moves former second overall pick Greg Robinson either down to guard or perhaps on the right side of the line. The move hardly comes as a surprise considering the carousel that took place at left tackle last season after Robinson’s excessive penalties prompted a necessary change.
Whitworth obviously came with a heavy price tag considering he is 35 years old with 11 years of experience under his belt. However, he has seemingly gotten better with age after earning First-team All-Pro honors in 2015 and was graded by Pro Football Focus as the second-best left tackle in 2016. He is also as durable as they come, having started every game for the Cincinnati Bengals in nine of his 11 seasons.
The move obviously does not address all the team’s question marks on the offensive line, but bringing in a player like Whitworth is a great start. Not only is he an elite left tackle, but he is well-known for his locker room presence as the unquestioned leader of the Bengals.
On that note, there really is not a price one could put on Jared Goff’s piece of mind knowing he now has a legitimate blocker protecting his blind side.