The news came as quite a shock as it was expected that the Bengals would re-sign their 11 year left tackle this offseason. Whitworth was expected to hit the open market, but, the thought was, he would still return and that the Bengals would pay him the way he deserved to be paid.
But, the Rams offered Whitworth a massive deal, given his age, and he couldn’t turn down the money and opportunity. Now, Whitworth is set to join a rebuilding team with a second year quarterback (first overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft) with a brand new head coach, who just happens to be the youngest head coach in the NFL.
The social media reactions from Bengals fans, the media and the families of Bengals players are very reactionary, somewhat over the top and highly emotional. Some Bengals fans are unfollowing the team on social media. Many cannot understand how Cincinnati let it get to this.
Neither can I....
There’s really no way to rationalize the Bengals allowing Whitworth to walk... though, paying a 35-year-old offensive lineman $35 million is a good place to start with rationalizations. Bengals fans likely would have been furious if the team paid Whitworth that much money.
#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
So, consider that while you’re upset. But, in actuality, and as Katherine Terrell of ESPN mentions below, the team EASILY could have franchise tagged Whitworth to avoid letting him get away. That would have locked him up in Cincinnati for at least one more year and allowed the team to have more time to re-sign Whitworth to a two or three year deal.
That ship has sailed and Whitworth is off to Los Angeles.
Here are the reactions from fans, the media, Bengals players and their family members regarding Whitworth’s departure, starting with his wife, Melissa.
@JimOwczarski dam that's one of my best friends on the team !!! Love you Whit— ADAm Pacman Jones (@REALPACMAN24) March 9, 2017
@awhitworth77 want to say thank you brother. Always giving me words of courage, when I needed. Well earned!— DeShawn Williams (@BigNuk_99) March 9, 2017
Well Damn.... The business side of the business. Congratz Big Dawg you deserve it for sure @awhitworth77! Great Leader, Father and Player.— Carlos Dunlap (@Carlos_Dunlap) March 9, 2017
Big Whit, best LT in the game easily, Congrats— Cedric Ogbuehi (@Nuff_ced70) March 9, 2017
They likely didn't offer him enough total, guaranteed or length. They got cheap. https://t.co/sDsAfF4vEb— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 9, 2017
I expected to lose Zeitler. Didn't expect to lose Whit. Neither loss is OK or makes sense. https://t.co/xhY5Bjnuar— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 9, 2017
Replacing a guy like Whit won't be easy, but hoping for the best transition for Cedric at LT.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) March 9, 2017
Reading some of the positive replies to Ced about playing LT. Good to see.— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) March 9, 2017
Heard the Bengals were willing to go to $10M range to keep Whitworth, maybe $11M, but Rams offer too strong to keep the left tackle...— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2017
That sound you hear is the Bengals window for winning a playoff game closing ...— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) March 9, 2017
I'll never blame anyone for taking a better deal. You better believe I would. https://t.co/5R9h0MZ1uv— Lindsay Patterson (@LndsPatterson) March 9, 2017
@JoeGoodberry Andy Dalton time of death... week 1 of the 2017 season.— Nick Howell (@Nick_Howell2) March 9, 2017
Someone give me an off-season plan that involves losing your best 2 OL, leaving you with one good one, and the Bengals competing in 2017— Jake Liscow (@Jake_NFL) March 9, 2017
11 draft picks isn't enough to improve the team if you literally sit on your hands and outdated ideology— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) March 9, 2017
EVERYBODY is laughing at the Bengals.— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 9, 2017
@JamesRapien I think Whitworth would have signed the deal I proposed for him. Would have given him even more Year 1 Cash than the Rams deal.— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) March 9, 2017
Honestly can't blame anyone who thought the whitworth deal would get done. Front office and even Marvin said they were optimisic- fell flat— Braden Whited (@BradenWhited) March 9, 2017
how could you watch last season and let it get this far— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) March 9, 2017
WHAT A JOKE— #15million (@losbengalscom) March 9, 2017
HAVE SOME FAITH— Connor Howe (@oneandfun) March 9, 2017
At this point, what could very well be your 2017 #Bengals 2017 OL.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 9, 2017
RG: T.J. Johnson
Thought Whitworth would have been most likely of Big 3 to stay in Cincinnati. Huge loss for #Bengals— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) March 9, 2017
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunkytown— Braden Whited (@BradenWhited) March 9, 2017
No but seriously this is awful. I'm gonna miss you @awhitworth77
Bengals could have prevented this by tagging Whitworth or placing the transition tag on him while they worked out a deal.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) March 9, 2017
@JoeGoodberry I'm livid over this! Im seriously starting to hate my team!! He should've retired here!— Angela jiovanni (@Geathersgirl) March 9, 2017
i have to sit through econ with this vein bulging out of my forehead— John Sheeran (@John__Sheeran) March 9, 2017
I feel bad for Bengals' fans. Their front office has no interest in winning.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) March 9, 2017
YOU IDIOTS— Joe Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) March 9, 2017
Ok i needs 10 minute twitter break to wipe my tears. I'll be back.— shawn moore (@whodeybaby) March 9, 2017
In shock. Can't believe the Bengals let @awhitworth77 get away. I really did not see this coming.— Rebecca Toback (@Rebecca_Toback) March 9, 2017