The Raiders entered Free Agency with plenty of needs to address on defense, yet all of their moves have been on the opposite side of the football. That could soon change as the Silver and Black are reportedly close to a deal with Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
It was previously reported that Whitehead was scheduled to visit Oakland, but this news suggests a deal could be done before he even visits the Raiders facility.
The five-year veteran has experience playing all three linebacking positions providing the Silver and Black with much needed versatility. Whitehead is coming off a 78 tackle season in which his Pro Football Focus grade of 79.6 ranked 25th among linebackers. He specifically excelled against the run.
#Raiders "closing in on a deal" with former #Lions LB Tahir Whitehead, per @RapSheet. Whitehead was at his best against the run with Detroit in 2017.— Austin Gayle (@AustinGayle_PFF) March 15, 2018
READ MORE (via @PFF's LIVE Free Agency Stream): https://t.co/5GE5G11kmZ pic.twitter.com/dC578ywExj
It is worth asking how the impending move will impact Navarro Bowman and whether or not this would mean he has played his final snap in Oakland. The Raiders and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther have expressed interest in retaining Bowman, but it is quite possible the Silver and Black get outbid by another team.
Regardless of Bowman’s future in Oakland, the addition of Tahir Whitehead would provide the Raiders with much needed depth at a position severely lacking it.
UPDATE: The Raiders have officially signed Tahir White. The deal is a reported 3-year $18 million according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
It’s a 3-year deal worth more than $6M per year. Of the $18M total, more than half is guaranteed https://t.co/aat1ygQkBM— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2018
Less than an hour after Jon Gruden took to Twitter to announce the Raiders free agency plans “weren’t done yet”, he stuck with his word.