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Where should the Rams turn if Andrew Whitworth doesn’t return?

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Veteran offensive tackle Jason Peters could be a solid backup plan

NFL: New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Peters
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

We know Andrew Whitworth wants to return for his fourth season with the Rams. And we know the Rams want him back. But whether that happens remains to be seen.

There is a lot of free-agent questions regarding the franchise as they have many free agents and only $15-20 million in projected salary cap room. So, the Rams have to be picky and also a little lucky in free agency,

Thus, as much as a Whitworth return seems likely, the Rams have to be prepared. What if a contender wows Whitworth with a big deal the Rams can’t match? Until he officially signs back with the team, it is not a sure thing that the massive left tackle will be back in 2020.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Andrew Whitworth
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

So, if that happens, the Rams will be scrambling to find a replacement. There are some veteran options out there, although none would be as cool as Whitworth, who has become a face of the team during the move back to L.A. He’s a huge part of the franchise and the community that he deserves to don the horns at SoFi Stadium.

But, for now, back to the options:

Jason Peters: He’s similar to Whitworth in experience. He has been a longtime standout for the Eagles. Like Whitworth, Peters is 38. He is entering his 17th season and could be an affordable short-term option.

NFL: NFC Championship-Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
Jared Veldheer
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Veldheer: He wants to play. He is only 32 and he has good experience so could be an inexpensive stop-gap answer.

Washington Redskins v New York Giants
Trent Williams
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Trent Williams: I’m only mentioning him because I’d be asked if he wasn’t on the list if I didn’t. He would cost too much in a trade and in salary. It’s not a great fit that way along with big-ticket free agents Jake Conklin and Anthony Castonzo.

NFL: New York Jets at Washington Redskins
Kelvin Beachum
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Beachum: This might be the best fit. He’s the best current player on this list that the Rams have a realistic chance of keeping. Beachum will be 31 in June and he has started 99 NFL games, and while he isn’t an upper-echelon left tackle and he would be fairly pricey because of the value of left tackles. But he could be a guy who starts for three to four seasons.

Greg Robinson: Nah ... I’m just checking if you’re paying attention.