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Whitworth: Wish I handled contract comments better

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Prior to the draft, Andrew Whitworth dared the Cincinnati Bengals to draft his replacement. Marvin Lewis followed by drafting offensive tackles in the first two rounds. The miffed veteran left tackle then griped about his contract situation and lack of communication with the organization.

Scaling down the stages toward acceptance with his lot, Whitworth is now analyzing his situation and attempting to clear the air.

"Monday was a tough day for me and probably handled it in ways I shouldn't have, to be honest," he said Saturday, per the Cincinnati Enquirer. "To me, it's about always trying to make decisions that reflect my leadership and who I am. Because I hold myself to a high standard, I wish I maybe handled it a little better. But the real truth is, at the end of the day, I love it here, I love leading these guys and our family has always been committed to that and always will be."

Whitworth added that he and the organization -- specifically owner Mike Brown -- are fine. The tackle plans for this to be the final chapter in his offseason drama, saying he won't discuss his contract issue anymore.

The 33-year-old acknowledged that the process of watching an eventual replacement be drafted got the best of him, but he joined Bengals rookie camp to show he's on board to teach.

"The process: It's tough, it's tough to go through. It's an emotional roller coaster a little bit," he said. "It's almost a challenge in some ways as a player. I'm excited about that, I'm excited about the opportunity to teach these kids and mentor them.

"That's why I'm here today. I told (offensive line coach) Paul (Alexander) I'd like to come up here and help them out and just watch and participate. So it's a great opportunity to do that."

While Whitworth -- still one of the best left tackles in the NFL -- won't lose his job this year, his future with the franchise is clearly a question.

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