The Buccaneers lost Jordan Whitehead to the Jets in free agency.
We are all going to feel his loss this year, especially considering the cheap cost of the contract.
Jordan Whitehead made as case as the best defender on Tampa’s roller coaster defense in 2021. There were several games that Whitehead seemingly made every play during the game and his versatility will be hard to replace.
Very few safeties in the NFL can be as comfortable as Whitehead was playing all across the field. From the box to covering receivers deep, there wasn’t much that Whitehead ever struggled with.
The Buccaneers will miss Jordan Whitehead
The Bucs may love Mike Edwards and Antoine Winfield Jr., but choosing to hold off on paying Whitehead to let the younger guys step up still hurts the defense.
Todd Bowles and the Buccaneers love their three-safety sets. Having Edwards come onto the field for Sean Murphy-Bunting helped up the defensive play on more than one occasion, but we get why the team would choose to lean more on Edwards.
Mike Edwards has made a compelling case of his own over the past two seasons as one of the most underused players in the league. His production relative to his reps was staggering, so the silver lining in this deal is that we will get to see what Edwards looks like with a full share of the reps.
This decision also opens up some interesting questions about the third safety. The Buccaneers could absolutely go after a draft pick, and likely should, and this also makes it seem clear that the Bucs aren’t going to make any large signings in the big-name safety free agent market either.
This deal still stings. It’s nice having some silver linings to fall back on, but watching Jordan Whitehead play for the Jets and not the Bucs is going to be a tough pill to swallow this year.
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