Andrew Whitworth frustrated by Bengals’ refusal to discuss extension
Before the draft, Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth challenged the Bengals to “mess up and draft” a tackle with designs on replacing him in the lineup anytime soon.
It’s more than fair to say that the Bengals were not dissuaded by Whitworth’s words. They drafted Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi in the first round and then followed up with Oregon tackle Jake Fisher in the second round, giving themselves a pair of potential successors to the 33-year-old Whitworth as he enters the final year of his contract.
Whitworth responded to the moves at the team’s headquarters on Monday and expressed disappointment that the Bengals neither told him about their plans at tackle nor responded to his request to discuss an extension of his contract.
“I want to be above and beyond and do more than the average guy in this locker room. But it’s hard to do that when the feeling’s not reciprocated. Really, it’s just a one-way street,” Whitworth said, via ESPN.com. "[When the team says] we’d like you to be the leader of our football team, but we’d also like the best situation possible for us to talk to you when we want to, that’s a one-way street and not really top-of-the-line in customer service. But it is what it is. Hopefully one day that conversation will be had and I’ll be here.”
Whitworth doesn’t seem to hold any grudges against the new players, both of whom he invited over to his house to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. Ogbuehi had already left town, but Fisher got a chance to spend some time with a locker room leader on his new team.
That kind of invitation is why Whitworth became a team leader, although those qualities only buy you so much time when a team makes it clear that they’re investing in a different future at the position.