Rams Add 3x Pro Bowl OL Andrew Whitworth
Los Angeles has made a significant move to help protect quarterback Jared Goff and pave the way for running back Todd Gurley, agreeing to terms with free agent left tackle Andrew Whitworth to a three-year contract.
The 35-year-old offensive lineman has played his entire career to this point in Cincinnati, making the Pro Bowl in 2012, 2015, and 2016. Selected in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Whitworth began his career as a guard before shifting over to left tackle in 2009. He’s been among the league’s most durable linemen as well, starting all 16 games in seven out of the last eight seasons — including each of the last three. In all, Whitworth has started 164 games either at left guard or tackle in his 11-year career.
Noted website Pro Football Focus named Whitworth its No. 26 player of the 2016 season, noting he allowed just one sack from Week 6 to the end of the regular season.
From PFF: “There is no more perennially underrated and under-appreciated tackle than Andrew Whitworth of the Bengals. He ended the 2016 season with the league’s best pass-blocking efficiency score (98.0), allowing just 14 total QB pressures across 561 pass-blocking snaps. Whitworth recorded six games this year in which he had perfect pass-protection games. His run blocking was solid, albeit not the strength it has been in seasons past.”
With Whitworth coming on as the club’s left tackle, ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez reported the Rams will likely shift 2014 first-round pick Greg Robinson over to the right side — either at guard or tackle.
Whitworth joins a position group that currently includes Robinson, Rodger Saffold, Jamon Brown, Cody Wichmann, Tim Barnes, Rob Havenstein, Andrew Donnal, Darrell Williams, David Arkin, Demetrius Rhaney, and Pace Murphy.
The Rams have made a move to bolster their receiving corps with someone plenty familiar with playing in the Coliseum, agreeing to terms with former USC wide receiver Robert Woods to a 5-year deal.
A second-round pick in the 2013 draft, Woods has been a major contributor to the Bills’ offense for the last four years. He’s recorded a total of 203 receptions for 2,451 yards in 57 games — 48 starts. The wideout started 10 of the 13 contests he played last year, making 51 receptions for 613 yards — including a pair of catches for 26 yards against the Rams in October. Woods has caught 12 touchdown passes in his NFL career.
But Woods is likely better known in Los Angeles for his three years as a Trojan. The wideout was named Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2010 after making 65 receptions for 792 yards. The following year, Woods set a Pac-12 record with 111 receptions — a mark that has since been eclipsed. But Woods’ 252 career receptions remain a program record. In all, Woods tallied 2,930 yards receiving and 32 touchdowns for USC.
Woods joins a receiving corps that currently has Tavon Austin, Pharoh Cooper, Bradley Marquez, Mike Thomas, Paul McRoberts, Marquez North, and Nelson Spruce. The group will be coached by Eric Yarber in 2017.
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