NFL free agency update: Raiders sign Tahir Whitehead

NFL Free Agency

The Oakland Raiders were looking for help across the defense, and they got some on Thursday night with the signing of Tahir Whitehead.

After signing a litany of offensive players including Jordy Nelson, Doug Martin, Lee Smith and Derek Carrier, the Raiders finally began to dip their toe into the defensive portion of the free agency pool.

On Thursday night, Oakland came to terms with linebacker Tahir Whitehead, who should immediately upgrade the second level of the defense. Whitehead, 27, spent the first six years of his career with the Detroit Lions after being selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Temple University.

Over the past two seasons, Whitehead has been a plus player inside for the Lions, racking up an average of 121 tackles. He has also been able to drop in coverage a bit, notching four interceptions throughout his tenure in the Motor City.

Contract details

The details have not been released yet. There was a report of three years at $6 million, but the tweet has since been deleted. Considering age and production, that deal would be in line with expectations, if not a bit cheap than expected.

National reaction


Without knowing the terms of the contract, it’s tough to give a grade. If the contract is somewhere around $6 million per year, it’s a solid get. Whitehead isn’t a Pro Bowl player, but he’s useful and can thunmp against the run. The Raiders have to get more athletic on defense, and the New Jersey native is a nice step in that direction.

Grade: B+

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