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He called it quits after last year, retiring at age 40 after an extremely successful NFL career that saw him make four Pro Bowls and win the 2021 Walter Payton Award, which honors players with the most community impact and philanthropy.
Whitworth’s list of achievements is nearly endless, as he mentioned during an interview with Fox News.
When comparing himself to other tackles who made the Hall of Fame, he‘s clear that his statistics and track record of success is comparable if not superior:
“I won the most games, I went to just as many Pro Bowls, I went to a Super Bowl, I played the most snaps, right up there with the least sacks (allowed) if not the least, I was one of the highest graders of all those guys if you want to (look at) statistics of (Pro Football Focus), won the most division championships, I think only one other guy went to the Super Bowl, so I think it’s gone of those things like what do you want to measure it with, which I think it’s always so funny with quarterbacks sometimes, we flip the conversation – whether they’re a winner or whether it’s statistics.”
In his estimation, getting into Hall of Fame discussion would also be recompense for Whitworth missing out on the all-decade team:
“‘I think it’s something that’s going to come up over the years. You know, five years I think you’re eligible. I look forward to it. I think it’s a great conversation,'” Whitworth explained. ‘Obviously, you hear guys – guys who have been here for a long time or guys who are trying to get in – I think their take on who deserves to get in changes drastically over the years. I do think sometimes it gets a little … what’s really the marker for getting into the Hall of Fame? To me, I look at it no different than what I argued for why I thought it was really a disrespectful thing to not make the all-decade team to me. If you look at that list, regardless of what you think of talent, because sometimes I think we talk about offensive line now and the conversation always leads to how talented they were and how many freaky plays they have.'”
While he is retiring, Whitworth isn’t going to be sitting at home; he’ll be joining the Amazon broadcast crew for their Thursday Night Football broadcasts, starting in Week 2.
He certainly has a good case for making the NFL Hall of Fame, with a lengthy 16-year career, during which he was often elite AND healthy, starting nearly every possible game.
His Pro Bowl appearances, longevity, and demonstrable skill easily justify sending him to Canton, and he was still a key contributor to a Super Bowl winning team at the age of 40.
Whitworth will have to wait five years to find out if the Selection Committee agrees that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.