CINCINNATI -- Bengals Pro Bowl left tackle Andrew Whitworth was contrite Saturday, telling reporters his emotions got the best of him earlier this week when he publicly criticized the team's front office for what he felt was a slow response to his inquiries about getting a contract extension.
"Because I hold myself to a high standard, I wish I had handled it better," Whitworth said. "To me, it's always about making decisions that reflect my leadership and who I am."
The 33-year-old is entering the final year of his current deal. He said Monday he wanted a new contract before the season because as a 10-year veteran who was drafted by the team, he felt he had "earned more" than the relative silence he's been given.
It wasn't the only emotional statement to come from his camp this week.
On Wednesday, Whitworth sent out a tweet that was even more critical of team president Mike Brown. After deleting his Twitter account and then reactivating it, Whitworth said his wife accidentally sent the tweet, thinking she was sarcastically responding to a private message to one of Whitworth's teammates. The quickly deleted tweet read: "Mike Brown told me I'm done here. Said I can play this year and go home. So I told him I want a raise or I'll sit my ass at home this ..."
Whitworth wasn't sitting anywhere Saturday. He and two of his kids, 4-year-old Drew and 3-year-old Michael, attended the Bengals' rookie camp. In addition to watching his sons, Whitworth walked rookie offensive tackles through various drills off to the side. It was the Bengals' first- and second-round selections of tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher last weekend that originally caused Whitworth concern. He said Monday he was caught off guard by back-to-back tackle selections because no one in team management had discussed such a scenario with him.
Just before addressing reporters near the conclusion of the Bengals' second day of rookie camp Saturday, Whitworth chatted on the field with Brown and his daughter, executive vice president Katie Blackburn. At times, Blackburn even played with Whitworth's kids.
"Mike and I get along fine," Whitworth said. "Everybody tries to make it a personal thing and it's not. I love Mike, I love the family and I love the Bengals and they love me back."
One member of the Bengals' front office told ESPN on Saturday the entire ordeal surrounding Whitworth was "much ado about nothing." Asked if he felt the same way, Whitworth agreed.
Neither side was willing to divulge how much closer they were to making a preseason extension a reality, but Whitworth indicated he plans to remain in Cincinnati the rest of his career.
"I won't play anywhere else. I'll never put on another uniform other than a Cincinnati Bengal uniform, and that's all that's important to me," Whitworth said.