After having extended one lineman and drafted two others, the Bengals secured another spot on their offensive line today. ESPN.com’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that the team has come to an agreement on a one-year extension with offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth. The one-year, $9MM deal will keep the 33-year-old in Cincinnati through 2016.
The Louisiana State product has spent his entire career with the Bengals since being selected in the second round of the 2006 draft. Since then, he’s been named a Pro Bowler (2012) and a Second-team All-Pro (2014). He’s only missed eight games during his nine-plus years in the league, and he’s started in 134 of his 138 games.
Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has consistently ranked Whitworth as one of the most valuable members of the Cincinnati offense, and he’s never been listed lower than 15th on the website’s yearly rankings of offensive tackles. Last season, he rated as the second-best tackle in the NFL, trailing only the Eagles’ Jason Peters.
The Bengals dedicated resources to reinforcing their offensive line during the offseason. They re-signed guard Clint Boling, and they also used their first two draft picks on linemen Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher. As Nerdy Football’s Matt Miller notes (on Twitter), former first-round pick Andre Smith is still set to hit free agency following the season.
In May, our own Dallas Robinson explored Whitworth’s extension candidacy.