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NFL Free Agency: Andrew Whitworth likely to test market

Veteran left tackle tells Sirius XM NFL Radio that’s the “right way” for him to proceed

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-Minicamp
Andrew Whitworth
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If the New York Giants want to make a run at Cincinnati Bengals’ left tackle Andrew Whitworth on the free agent market, it looks like they will have that opportunity. Whitworth said Monday that he will test the market, though he still believes he will end up in Cincinnati.

Whitworth was appearing on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Alex Marven and Solomon Wilcots. Here is part of what Whitworth said, via Marvez in the Sporting News:

“I love Cincinnati and want to be there,” Whitworth told co-host Solomon Wilcots and me Monday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I’m pretty positive things will work out in a way that I’ll be there in the end. But I want to take advantage of the opportunity of being free and listening to what other people have to say. I think that’s the right way to do it.

“At this point in my career it’s about the challenge, the excitement of trying to win that Super Bowl. I want to make sure wherever it is, and hopefully it’s in Cincinnati, that team is prepared to try and fight for that trophy.”

Despite being 35, Whitworth is considered the top left tackle expected to reach free agency. The 11-year veteran is a three-time Pro Bowler, including each of the last two seasons. Whitworth was the second-highest graded tackle in the league in 2016, per the Pro Football Focus scoring system. PFF gave Whitworth the best pass-blocking grade in the league among qualifying tackles.

It’s unknown, of course, if the Giants are planning to make a run at signing Whitworth, who made $9 million last season. Signing a 35-year-old tackle to a rich contract is risky, since age and injury could derail him at any time. Still, his presence on the market would provide an option.

It sounds as though it will take some convincing, which likely means a hefty short-term paycheck, to get Whitworth to leave Cincinnati. We will find out soon if the Giants are interested in trying.

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