Buccaneers: Three starters who should watch their backs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmet (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Jordan Whitehead, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Buccaneers Safety Jordan Whitehead 

Jordan Whitehead is a solid football player. The thing is, with all the pending free agents next year, and the “kicking the fan down the road” approach Jason Licht and the front office utilized to bring everyone back, the Bucs may not be able to afford to keep him in Tampa. Luckily, they have more than a solid backup plan in the form of Mike Edwards.

Whitehead and Edwards are virtually the same sizes, with the 205 pounds Edwards actually outweighing Whitehead by seven pounds. They also have equal productivity in some areas despite unequal playing time. Whitehead obviously had more tackles in 2020 due to starting every game, but things get interesting as far as coverage goes. In 2020, both Whitehead and Edwards both had a fumble recovery, two interceptions, and Edwards actually had five passes deflected to Whitehead’s four.

Edwards, who can hang his helmet on intercepting Drew Brees’ final pass, has also been quoting as saying that the Buccaneers are going to implement more three-safety packages with him, Whitehead, and Antoine Winfield Jr. With Edwards getting more playing time, it may to ease him into Whitehead’s role for the future, if not this season.

It’s also worth noting that Edwards has had a tremendous camp, and has been looking like a true ballhawk safety, intercepting seemingly every pass thrown his way. This included an incredible circus catch, which was just another example of his great nose for the ball. Whitehead is no slouch, and while having this depth at safety helps the team, it doesn’t necessarily help Whitehead all things considered.