According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Detroit Lions are re-signing linebacker Tahir Whitehead. After having a promising finish to the 2014 season, it looked like Whitehead was ready to step into a starting role in 2015. However, his season got off to a bizarre start when in the 4th pre-season game at Jacksonville, Travis Lewis started over him. This was a shock, and the reason why he was benched was unclear. He had always been a good character player, winning post-season team awards and being a special-teams grinder in his rookie season, so it was unlikely he was in some trouble with the team.
The first half of the season, he didn’t see much of the field. The mystery continued, but after the bye-week he re-entered the first string defense and began to contribute. Whitehead really emerged in the second half, and made us fans question why he was in the doghouse since August. His good second half culminated with a late second quarter interception in Chicago to set up Matt Prater’s Lions record 59 yard field goal before halftime.
Whitehead was on record saying he felt he could be the team’s middle linebacker, and even after the release of Stephen Tulloch it was still unclear whether he would return. It was reported today, March 10th, that he would be visiting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before that could happen the Lions inked him to a two-year, eight million dollar deal.
It will be interesting to see what the new front office regime does with Whitehead. Quinn said he wants to play a lot of nickel defense, so does he see Whitehead as his MIKE, or will he draft a guy early this April?
With still a lot to be found out, one thing is for sure. Tahir Whitehead will wear the Honolulu Blue for two more seasons.
Tahir crushes he-who-shall-not-be-named.
Tahir gets pumped up for game-time
Tahir with ball after INT in 2014 game at Minnesota