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New York Jets agree to terms with free agent safety Jordan Whitehead

Jordan Whitehead, New York Jets, free agent, contract
Jordan Whitehead, New York Jets, Getty Images

Jordan Whitehead agrees to sign with the New York Jets

The New York Jets are turning to a familiar source to bolster their secondary: the Darrelle Revis family tree.

Per Rich Cimini of ESPN, the Jets are set to add former Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead, one of several starters from the team’s shutdown of the mighty Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Whitehead, who will turn 25 on Friday, is the cousin of the renowned Jets defender and is likewise a Pittsburgh alum.

He is the second new member of the secondary reported to join New York on Tuesday, as the team is likewise set to add former Seattle cornerback D.J. Reed.

Whitehead entered the league as a fourth-round draft pick of Tampa Bay’s in 2018 (117th overall). Since then, Whitehead has developed a reputation as one of the league’s most physical safeties, his athleticism creating a fair amount of damage in the box or at the line of scrimmage.

Often rotating with the ballhawk abilities of Mike Edwards, Whitehead played 14 games with the Buccaneers last season and ranked third on the team with eight pass breakups. Tampa Bay built its championship defense through the arrival of Whitehead and other draft weekend Friday arrivals in the secondary, which also included Edwards, Jamal Dean, Sean Murphy-Bunting, and Carlton Davis (another reported New York target who re-upped with the Buccaneers on Monday).

In Tampa Bay lore, Whitehead is perhaps best known for forcing two fumbles during the Buccaneers’ victory in the 2020-21 NFC title game in Green Bay. The latter of those tallies came at the onset of the third quarter and set up what eventually became the game-winning score of a 31-26 final. He then partook in the Super Bowl excursion with a torn labrum, earning two tackles in the 31-9 win over Kansas City.

Whitehead earned 73 tackles and two interceptions last season and was ranked 62nd in Pro Football Focus’ ranking of the top 100 free agents of 2022.

The Jets have spent this Tuesday continuing to bolster the post-Jamal Adams situation in the secondary through the signings of Reed and Whitehead (who has also earned four interceptions over the last two seasons). New York previously re-signed Lamarcus Joyner to a one-year deal shortly before Monday opened the legal tampering proceedings.

Joyner is expected to compete for the starting free safety role with Ashtyn Davis, while Whitehead could take over the strong spot that ongoing free agent Marcus Maye potentially leaves behind.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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2 years ago

A good signing but not great, other safeties on the market that could have done better. Tyrann Mathieu, Marcus Williams that the jets again let get away because they low balled a premium player once again. But i give this signing a B

2 years ago

HOOOOOORAYYYYYY!!!!!! This reminds me of the Warriors rebuild that lead to their success. You have to stink for a while to get better.