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Oakland Raiders officially sign Tahir Whitehead

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The veteran linebacker will be playing for Jon Gruden in 2018.

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As expected, Tahir Whitehead will not be playing for the Detroit Lions next season. Late Thursday night, the Oakland Raiders officially announced they have signed the veteran linebacker:

The team did not immediately disclose contract terms.

Whitehead spent six years with the Lions, slowly working his way up from a fifth-round pick that contributed early on special teams, to eventually a full-time start at outside linebacker. He also served as the team’s middle linebacker for a couple years, but was better suited on the outside.

In six total season, Whitehead amassed 398 tackles, 3.0 sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles in 54 total starts.

From the beginning of free agency, it was clear the Lions were moving away from Whitehead. With new head coach Matt Patricia likely to make sweeping changes in the defensive scheme, Whitehead was never likely going to be part of the plans, even though he enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2017.

Instead, the Lions immediately went out and signed both Devon Kennard and Christian Jones in the first few days of free agency. Kennard is likely to play a hybrid role, splitting time as an outside linebacker and a defensive end, while Jones can provide depth in the middle of the field.

We wish Tahir the best of luck in Oakland and thank him for six solid years of play with the Lions.

UPDATE: Whitehead reportedly signed a three-year deal, very similar to the terms that Kennard got (three-years, $18.75 million):