Although he was visiting Tampa Bay on Thursday, it seems Tahir Whitehead will remain in the northern realms of Michigan after all. The Lions linebacker drew interest from both the Buccaneers and the Philadelphia Eagles, but two days into free agency it would appear he's decided to re-up with the Detroit Lions. He's back with the team on a two-year deal worth north of $8 million.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network:
For the #Lions and LB Tahir Whitehead, I'm told it's a 2-year deal worth more than $8M.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2016
The news comes as a windfall for the Lions for the linebacker position. Tahir Whitehead has been a fan favorite to return to Detroit; 94 percent of readers here at Pride Of Detroit wanted him back in a recent poll.
It didn't look good for the Lions for the last 48 hours or so. Whitehead drew interest from the Philadelphia Eagles after they traded away Kiko Alonso, prompting Whitehead to send out a slightly cryptic tweet when reports surfaced that they were interested in him. Philadelphia was potentially fascinating for him; Whitehead had played college ball at Temple University. On Thursday morning reports came out that Whitehead was planning to go down to Tampa to meet with the Buccaneers, another team that had needs at the linebacker position.
Whitehead played in all 16 games for the Lions in 2016, starting in eight of them.
It's still early to tell if the Lions simply made a better offer than the Eagles and Bucs or if Tahir decided to remain in Detroit after testing the waters. Details will be forthcoming on the contract and the money involved but the news of his return is sure to keep fans happy.
Tahir Whitehead posted the following message on Instagram thanking the Lions and the Ford family for bringing him back: