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Before signing with the Rams, Andrew Whitworth wanted to retire a Bengal

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Big Whit was always meant to be a Bengal.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Whitworth left Cincinnati three years ago, and yet it still stings in the hearts of Bengals fans.

A legend in the Queen City, Whitworth grew up with the then Marvin Lewis-led franchise. From 25-35, Whitworth was a Bengal, and he wanted to retire with what was then his only NFL franchise.

However, Whitworth would sign with the Los Angeles Rams during the 2017 offseason, and he’s been there ever since.

That said, Whitworth never wanted to leave Cincinnati. But, he knew his value, and apparently Cincinnati wasn’t quite hitting that mark. Even Whitworth himself confirmed that the Bengals low-balled him in free agency talks.

Whitworth’s departure is where things started to head south for the franchise that has become used to successful regular seasons.

Four straight losing seasons, the first one kicking off while Whitworth was still a Bengal, after five straight playoff appearances has plagued Cincinnati. However, the now 38-year-old has no resentment and may still retire a Bengal once his career in Los Angeles is over.

“Yeah, when I left there, that was really kind of the intention. Obviously, whenever I’m done playing, that’ll be the decision I’ll make at that time. But yeah, at that time when I left there, that was kind of the intention. And that was really the only thing that – Mike (Brown) was obviously not happy when I left,” Whitworth told former Bengals tackle Willie Anderson on Instagram.

Whitworth will go down as one of the best tackles in franchise history. The enormous 6-foot-7, 330-pound veteran has four Pro Bowl appearances and two First-Team All-Pro nominations.

Whether he retires a Bengal or not, Whitworth will always hold a special place in the heart of the team’s diehard fanbase.