Much of the struggles for the 2019 Los Angeles Rams came down to the inconsistent and often unsatisfactory play from their offensive line.
After a phenomenal showing from the 2018 line, the Rams let OL Rodger Saffold III leave in free agency and pushed C John Sullivan into retirement. The early returns from OL Joseph Noteboom and C Brian Allen left many fans wondering if the Rams’ transition to a new line had been premature. After a season of injuries and personnel adjustments, things look even less settled up front heading toward 2020 with LT Andrew Whitworth and OL Austin Blythe both set to become free agents with allusions toward Whitworth’s retirement stemming as far back as last season.
But per NFL Media’s Mike Silver, it sounds like Big Whit yet again might give it another go:
After last night's game, @RamsNFL LT Andrew Whitworth, who recently turned 38, told me he hopes to keep playing in 2020: "My intention is to play football. We'll see if it works out." @AroundTheNFL @nflnetwork— Michael Silver (@MikeSilver) December 22, 2019
It’s worth taking this with a grain of salt. This was a post-game comment after the heat of battle and not a measured response after weeks of considering his future.
His potential return would be a huge shift in offseason plans.
Big Whit just turned 38-years old two weeks ago. He’s earning just more than $16m this year after two years under $10m. The Rams are currently set to have about $20m available for free agency. Not sure what Big Whit’s current market value would be, but it would eat up a significant chunk of their available cap which would perhaps call into question the capability to re-sign any of the other five impeding free agents: Blythe, DL Michael Brockers, EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., LB Cory Littleton and/or K Greg Zuerlein.
Tough decisions lie ahead, but if Whit wants to saddle up again, things will be even more convoluted.