Andrew Whitworth was at the pinnacle in his long football career when he decided to retire on top a month later.

After a 16-season NFL tenure, which culminated in his first Super Bowl title last month with the Los Angeles Rams, the 40-year old left tackle announced his retirement Tuesday.

Whitworth stated, “The warrior within me wants to go back again, but my body doesn’t want it.” The body is tired. It’s time to recognize, while I’m still driven, that there are new people, new things and new ways I can fight.

Whitworth’s long-awaited decision was made official 30 days after his team beat the Cincinnati Bengals to win his first ring. Although Whitworth tried to keep the news conference secret, several of his appreciative teammates found out and attended the Rams’ training facility, including Matthew Stafford, Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, and others.

After turning 40 in December, Whitworth became the oldest left tackle player in the modern NFL. Two-time All-Pro selection Whitworth then protected Stafford’s blind side throughout a 23-20 win at Rams’ SoFi Stadium.

Whitworth is not the most popular player in Whitworth’s game, but he did recognize that his play was slipping and that he needed to do more.

Whitworth stated, “Over time I felt that I didn’t want to be a disservice for my teammates by starting to lose their ability to truly give them what they deserve.” I would not want that for them. I want them to succeed, and I want all their dreams to come true. It would be the worst thing I could do to get in their way. It was simply realizing that it was time from an internal perspective.

Whitworth stated that he had hoped to continue his Rams contract in the following year, but the chance to win a championship was too tempting for him and his family. Whitworth and Melissa have four children.

Whitworth was with the Rams for his last five seasons. He was signed shortly after Sean McVay became their head coach in 2017. McVay’s transformational offense in Los Angeles was led by Whitworth, who was the core of McVay’s massive offensive lineman. He led the team to five consecutive wins, four playoff berths and three NFC West championships.

Whitworth was also named the NFL’s Walter Payton Mann of the Year for his outstanding play and his generous mentorship to younger players. Whitworth is not looking to become a broadcaster, but he plans to stay involved in the community as a leader.

McVay stated, “If you want to feel really inadequate, look at the accomplishments of Andrew Whitworth.” Andrew’s leadership style is the best example of our team. Andrew is the type of person you want to be better because of how he treats all people he meets.

Whitworth, a Louisiana native, won the national championship at LSU. During his 16-year tenure in the NFL, Whitworth played more snaps than any other player.

Four-time Pro Bowl selection, his career began in Cincinnati where he played 11 seasons. He was drafted in the second round of 2006. After starting his career on the inside line, he moved to left tackle in 2009. He quickly established himself as a great all-around blocker.

Whitworth was a captain for each of his five West Coast seasons after he joined the Rams.

The Rams signed Joseph Noteboom to a $37.5 million, three-year contract. This could potentially be worth as much as $47.5 million in playing time incentives. Whitworth has used Noteboom for the last four years as his backup and he has been a competent replacement when Whitworth is injured.

Whitworth’s retirement will net the Rams $16 million in salary cap savings. The champs will still need the money to strengthen their roster for another title run. On Saturday, Whitworth was entitled to a $3,000,000 roster bonus.