The Rams on Wednesday kept intact one of the key pieces of the offensive line, agreeing to terms on a multiyear deal with veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Whitworth, 38, is a 14-year veteran, so the deal is no doubt front-loaded. Last season, he had a salary-cap number of $16.7 million in the final year of the three-year, $33.8-million contract he signed with the Rams after 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Whitworth agreed to terms a few hours after the Rams announced they had re-signed offensive lineman Austin Blythe to a one-year contract, and that they had agreed to terms with free agent linebacker Leonard Floyd.
The Rams had to that point only suffered free agent losses — all on defense.
On Monday, lineman Michael Brockers agreed to terms with the Baltimore Ravens. On Tuesday, linebacker Cory Littleton agreed to terms with the Oakland Raiders, and the Rams declined to exercise an option on slot cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, making him a free agent. On Wednesday, edge rusher Dante Fowler agreed to terms with the Atlanta Falcons.
Whitworth helped the Rams reach the playoffs in 2017 and the Super Bowl in 2018 as part of a line that enjoyed remarkable continuity.
But after Rodger Saffold left to sign a free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans and the Rams declined to exercise an option on veteran center John Sullivan before last season, coach Sean McVay turned to younger players.
Problems ensued, however, when guard Joe Noteboom and Brian Allen both suffered season-ending knee injuries early in the season. Austin Blythe moved to center, Austin Barnes played left guard, rookie David Edwards played right guard and rookie Bobby Evans supplanted injured Rob Havenstein at right tackle.
After the season, Whitworth said he aimed to remain with the Rams.
“Hopefully, the opportunity will be here,” he said. “Obviously, any time you’re a free agent, you’ve got to listen to everything and figure out what’s best for you.
“But of course, for me and my family, being a Ram would be No. 1, without question.”