Buccaneers And Whitehead Are Reunited


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making another dynamite signing, this time in the form of former Jets safety Jordan Whitehead, who received a two-year, $9 million deal with the potential to be worth up to $10.5 million.

Whitehead was a member of the Bucs’ Super Bowl secondary, nicknamed the “Grave Diggers,” and while corner Carlton Davis III will be donning a Lions uniform this season following a trade with Detroit earlier this week, Whitehead reunites with Antoine Winfield, Jr. and Jamel Dean to form at least a triumvirate from that original group.

As previously reported, the Bucs wouldn’t be foolish to continue to invest in the secondary, whether through the draft or free agency, especially with another familiar face in safety Mike Edwards also sitting on the open market.

But I’ll leave that for the future; for now, the Bucs have brought in a player not only familiar with Todd Bowles and many other faces on this defense, but also a guy who had a really solid 2023 campaign with the Jets.

The hard-hitting safety earned a Pro Football Focus grade of 68.1 for the year (for reference now almost certainly former Bucs safety Ryan Neal had a whopping 46.6 grade for the season) and hauled in four interceptions, three coming in one game.

So while it’s not a game-breaking, big-time signing, Whitehead coming back to Tampa is just another smart move that can make a huge impact on the Bucs’ quest to win their fourth-straight division title.

One of those moves the Bucs could make would be trading for one of Philadelphia Eagles’ edge rushers since the team’s been openly trying to trade for seemingly weeks.

Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick are both reportedly being shopped as Philly has signed another former Jet in pass rusher Bryce Huff—and spent a first round pick on another edge guy, Nolan Smith, Jr. out of Georgia, in last year’s draft.

The general belief is that these moves make at least one, if not both, of the Sweat-Reddick duo expendable, especially as PHiladelpgia tries to continue to move money around to make move for the new signings of running back Saquan Barkley and safety CJ Gardner-Johnson, plus any extensions of their young players they’d have to make in the future (guard/center Landon Dickerson was already signed to a multi-year deal worth $85 million total).

Enter the Buccaneers, who could make a few restructures to make enough cap room for either one of the high-priced pass rushers.

The preferable option would be Reddick, as he’s been more productive and would be an easier fit in the Bucs’ 3-4 defense due to his prior experiences in Arizona and Carolina in that role.

Both have one year left on their deals, with Reddick, who’sa bout three years older than Sweat, owed $5 million more—but neither should command a big return in draft capital.

Both are also incredibly durable, but Reddick has a slight edge (yuck another nasty pun) in sack totals over the years, although he’s about to be on the wrong side of 30 years old.

The Buccaneers would be better regardless of which they potentially trade for, but I’d still go Reddick if forced to choose.

Regardless, it’s all about the Bucs being willing/able to afford the salaries for either player.

Fire those damn cannons, it’s been a fun week. And it’s only Wednesday.



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This article originally appeared on CLTAMPA.COM and is used with permission.

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