There were some moments of discord between the Bengals and tackle Andrew Whitworth last offseason, particularly when he suggested the Bengals not draft a tackle in an early round and then watched as the team drafted tackles in both the first and second round.
All wound up being fine once the season started, however. Whitworth continued to play at a high level and the Bengals signed him to a one-year extension through the 2016 season. While that leaves his future beyond this season up in the air, Whitworth is convinced “all that stuff is going to take care of itself” because “the offers are always going to be there” if one plays well and plays a leadership role.
It won’t hurt that Whitworth is also open to being flexible about where he plays. Whitworth kicked inside to guard in the past when the Bengals needed help on the interior and says he’s open to doing so again in the future if it means extending his time in the league.
“I still see myself as having value in that,” Whitworth said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I feel with my kind of strength that’s something that’s definitely a positive for me, so I think that you can move inside when you’re a big powerful guy. Not all tackles can do that, but I’m really comfortable in there, have played really well in there and know that I could still do that. Yeah, if the body is still feeling good, for sure. If I sat there and said hey, as a tackle, how much longer can I go? I feel like at tackle I still have some years and at guard I for sure have years. I feel like it’s one of those things that you have to stay open if you want to keep playing.”
If Whitworth remains healthy, he will likely remain an effective blocker and that’s going to lead to interest in his services at either position should he and the Bengals decide on a parting of the ways.