Bengals’ OT inks extension

Published 3:17 am Thursday, September 1, 2011

CINCINNATI (AP) — Left tackle Andrew Whitworth got a two-year contract extension on Wednesday that could keep him with the Cincinnati Bengals through 2015.

The deal recognizes his standing as the team’s best offensive lineman and one of its leaders. He’s the first Bengals player to get a contract extension since the NFL lockout ended.

“You want to extend the guys who you know are committed to the program,” Whitworth said. “It’s good to see the hard work you put in and to be able to get it to work for both sides.”

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Whitworth was a second-round draft pick in 2006, when he moved into the starting lineup. He emerged as one of the league’s best tackles the last two seasons.

He was a team captain and a representative to the players’ union. He assumed a leadership role during the NFL lockout, helping to organize workouts in Cincinnati.

“Whit is a very fine player and also a team leader, so this is obviously good news for our team,” coach Marvin Lewis said.

“It’s good to get this done before the regular season begins.”