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Oakland Raiders release former Lions LB Tahir Whitehead

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The former Lions linebacker is back on the market.

Oakland Raiders v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

A few years ago, the Detroit Lions faced a difficult decision with linebacker Tahir Whitehead. Although the middle linebacker was coming off one of his best season yet in Detroit, the change in head coach and defensive scheme made it hard to justify bringing Whitehead back on a new contract.

Instead, Whitehead went to Oakland on a three-year, $19 million contract with the Raiders. Unfortunately for Whitehead, it will only be a two-year deal, as the Raiders announced on Monday that they were letting go of Whitehead, saving the team $6.25 million in cap space.

In his two years with the Raiders, Whitehead started every game. He led the Raiders in tackles in both seasons, however he continued to struggle in coverage, allowing a passer rating of 146.5 and 150.5 in 2018 and 2019 respectively (per PFF).

Whitehead was a fifth-round pick for the Detroit Lions in the 2012 NFL Draft. He signed a two-year extension with the Lions in 2016, but will now enter free agency for the second time in his career.