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Jordan Whitehead to Sign with New York Jets

NFL veteran safety Jordan Whitehead signed a new contract. Whitehead spent the 2021 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jordan Whitehead Contract

NFL veteran Jordan Whitehead signed a new contract with the New York Jets. Whitehead spent the first four seasons of his pro career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He entered the NFL as a fourth-round pick in 2018 and started every game en route to the Bucs winning Super Bowl LV during the 2020 season.

Jordan Whitehead, New York Jets, Agree to Contract

Even though the Buccaneers couldn’t repeat in 2021, Whitehead still performed well. He started 14 games, tallied 67 tackles, snatched a pair of interceptions, defended a further eight passes and forced a fumble.

Whitehead was even better the year before. He didn’t miss a snap next to fellow safety Antoine Winfield Jr. The duo’s ability to play in the box against the run or against slot receivers helped Tampa’s stingy defense.

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles took full advantage of Whitehead’s flexibility. Bowles blitzed Whitehead from multiple angles, either directly from the slot or on stunts inside, like for this sack against the Denver Broncos during the Bucs’ Super Bowl season, per PFF’s Jon Macri:

Whitehead’s ability to impact both phases of an offense showed up against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. He forced two fumbles, including one recovered by linebacker Devin White in the third quarter that led to a Bucs’ touchdown.

The best was yet to come as Whitehead played his part in a more conservative defense that still shut down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. There were a lot of two-deep zone shells, so Whitehead got to show off his coverage skills in Bowles’ defense.

Bowles arrived in 2019 with head coach Bruce Arians and they helped take Whitehead’s game to another level. Their first season working together saw the safety record 50 solo tackles, defend nine passes and make a pick.

Whitehead quickly became a starter as a rookie. He started 11 of 15 games, as the Buccaneers went 5-11 in their final season under Dirk Koetter.

Despite the struggles, Whitehead was productive. The rookie was in on 68 tackles, including 53 solo stops. He also broke up a quartet of passes, offering evidence of the tenacity and range that have defined his career since.

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