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Bengals fans and players react to Andrew Whitworth signing with Rams

The reactions are intense, over the top, but at the same time, exactly spot on. Losing Whitworth is catastrophic... Is that too over-the-top?

It’s official. Andrew Whitworth is leaving the Cincinnati Bengals to join the Los Angeles Rams and Bengals fans are devastated...disappointed...angry...going out of their minds.

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.

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.