When the Detroit Lions made the decision to move on from Tahir Whitehead this offseason, the free agent linebacker kept it classy. If there was any sign of ill will, Whitehead didn’t show it publicly.
“Thank you for all the love and support shown in Detroit over the years,” Whitehead tweeted out back in March.
It’s now five months later, and the team that let him go is coming to his new home with the Oakland Raiders. For Whitehead, it will be the opportunity to get any sort of revenge he may be wanting to exact for the organization moving on.
But Whitehead doesn’t seem interested in that. He’s made friends over the past six years in Detroit, and sounds genuinely excited to see them again.
“I’m a bit excited,” Whitehead told reporters this week. “See the guys, you know, I haven’t seen in a while.”
This offseason, Whitehead signed a three-year, $19 million with the Raiders, and he’s expected to be their starting weakside linebacker. At the same position last season, Whitehead accumulated a team-high 110 tackles, including eight for losses.
Whitehead says he’ll use that experience alongside the Lions to help prepare his team for this week of joint practices and the preseason.
“[I’ll] just give them some details on the guys,” Whitehead said. “Good group of guys, athletic guys. It’s a new coaching staff so there’s not so much I can really give them, but the guys that are still there, just give guys a heads up on what they bring to the table.”
While Whitehead remains classy about the upcoming reunion, it hasn’t stopped him from a little friend trash talk. Whitehead told reporters he and his former teammates have already started jawing off at each other.
“A couple facetimes, like just talking smack,” Whitehead said. “But they’re coming in, they’re ready to work. We’re ready to work. It should be a good joint practice.”
The first of two joint practices begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. We’ll see if the trash talking continues on the field.