The Detroit Lions told Tahir Whitehead that he will compete for the starting middle linebacker job, The Detroit Free Press reports.
The Lions are expected to release 31-year-old Stephen Tulloch, who carries a $7.3 million cap hit for the final year of his contract. The team presumably wants a younger and cheaper starting middle linebacker, after Tulloch was largely limited to a two-down role in 2015. The 25-year-old Whitehead signed a two-year, $8 million contract last week, making him the favorite to take over Tulloch's old role, though Josh Bynes could also compete for the job. Whitehead started 24 games for Detroit over the past two years, playing both inside and outside linebacker, yet never quite earning a consistent every-down role. He should have the inside track to that role in 2016, potentially leading to IDP utility.
For the second season in a row, Whitehead received at least 50 percent of the Lions' defensive snaps, which he turned into 51 tackles (including two sacks), one interception, and one fumble recovery in 16 games in 2015. With DeAndre Levy (hip) expected to be healthy in the fall, Whitehead will likely man the other outside linebacker spot on most downs.
Tahir Whitehead notched eight tackles (seven solo) and a sack in Sunday's win over the Packers.
Whitehead was very impressive on Sunday as he helped the Detroit Lions ' defense shut down a prolific Packers' offense in Green Bay, which ultimately led to a victory. Whitehead recorded his first sack of the season on a day where he put up by far his best numbers of the season. The fourth-year linebacker won't hold a ton of IDP value moving forward, but he could be good for a solid game or two like this every once in awhile.
|P1||8/12/16||@ PIT||7:00 pm|
|P3||8/27/16||@ BAL||7:00 pm|
|1||9/11/16||@ IND||4:25 pm|
|3||9/25/16||@ GB||1:00 pm|
|4||10/2/16||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|8||10/30/16||@ HOU||1:00 pm|
|9||11/6/16||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 10|
|13||12/4/16||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|15||12/18/16||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|16||12/26/16||@ DAL||8:30 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
Barry Sanders Detroit Lions Autographed Duke Pro Football with HOF 04 Inscription Shop Now!