Jordan Whitehead Overlooked

June 19th, 2024

Improved secondary.

The many folks in the national #NFLMedia who claim the Bucs didn’t do anything this offseason in free agency to add to the team (the very same folks who will then rave about Kirk Cousins like he’s Joe Burrow) are basically broadcasting they don’t do any research on the Bucs.

As many have pointed out (including the aforementioned group), the Bucs had a lousy pass defense last year. And Joe believes Tampa Bay addressed a key factor in that bad pass defense.

The Bucs brought back hard-hitting safety Jordan Whitehead to replace Ryan Neal, who struggled terribly last season. Neal is still looking for work less than a month from training camps opening across the league.

For Joe, that’s not just adding someone to the roster, but addressing a weakness.

Sort-of humorist Adam Rank of pointed out how key this under-the-radar move was for the Bucs.

The Bucs got a relative bargain in their reunion with Whitehead, who spent 2018 through 2021 with Tampa Bay and the last two seasons with the Jets. He signed a two-year deal worth $9 million in March. The 27-year-old brings some versatility and stability to the back end of a defense that ranked 29th against the pass last season.

Whitehead is a damn underrated safety. Joe thinks this is not just a good signing to plug a hole, but it also will allow Bucs coach Todd Bowles to be more creative using Antoine Winfield.

That could have a seriously good snowball effect on the entire defense.

Look, the Bucs terribly need a consistent, reliable edge rusher. By signing Whitehead, Joe believes that will allow Bowles to use Winfield more on blitzes in order to generate some pass rush.

24 Responses to “Jordan Whitehead Overlooked”

  1. SB Says:

    I have been thinking this since we signed him again. Safety is Locked down on this defense.

  2. The Southest Buc Says:

    With the salaries of the Safeties in the NFL, I think we are who most spend in the position.

  3. Buccos Says:

    Whitehead and Winfield will go down in history as the best safety tandem in Bucs history, possibly NFL history

  4. SteelStudBuc Says:

    Where’s Mike Edward’s??

  5. Dave Pear Says:

    Nobody is talking about the CB we got from the Jets either. Bryce Hall will start opposite Dean.

  6. Obvious Says:

    “Occam’s Razor”

    Of course it does. Not much else to say about that except Neal REALLY stunk up the place. Unacceptable to have let him continue to RUIN that passer rating for as long as he was aloud to. Pretty Much single handedly lost us games over and over, again and AGAIN! Poor decision making from…. the Coaching Staff!

    Nobody else to blame.

  7. heyjude Says:

    So happy we have Jordan back. We have Tykee Smith and Winfield too. Looks like we will be good to go along with Bowles creativity.

    @SteelStudBuc – I think Mike Edwards is on the Bills now.

    @Dave Pear – Yes, Hall and Dean. Expecting more from McCollum too.

  8. garro Says:

    Absolutely Joe! Many of us hated to see him go in the first place.
    The only concern I have is him staying healthy. He hits people a ton.

    Go Bucs!

  9. TampabayDJ Says:

    A little dramatic with the “single handedly lost us game’s (plural) over and over again and again ! ”
    Agree he was bad , but I don’t believe he single handedly did anything last year ! He was absent if you want to call it anything. Winfield had to play both Safety spots at the same time and had an ALL PRO year. Defense as a whole, outside of a few players, lost us games. But a Safety can’t lose a team Multiple game’s.
    Some of you people need to get more sleep, or get a punching bag .
    Our Bucs were supposed to have a top 5 pick in this past draft . Instead all they did was go out and win another NFC South title, win a playoff game at home, and went toe to toe with the Lions in Detroit. They were a few plays away from the NFC Championship game. This year , they have gotten better. I don’t read into that strength of schedule garbage because teams change on a yearly basis. Bucs are going to win the division AGAIN this year, and maybe go deeper in the playoffs.

  10. dmatt Says:

    Dave Pear,
    I agree Bryce Hall will start opposite Dean. I also believe at some point, sooner or later, Bryce will start opposite McCollum.

    Ryan Neal took our secondary back to the scrub players days of Sabby Piscitelli, Myron Lewis, n EJ Biggers. I’m watching JDean cause imo, he’s inconsistent, injury prone, fragile, n overrated. He dropped about 3 potential pick six ints.

    I believe we brought in some reinforcement in the secondary by adding Bryce Hall, Jordan Whitehead, Tavierre Thomas, n Tykee Smith to a game changer player such as AWinfield. The arrow is pointing straight ahead.

  11. BigMacAttack Says:

    Joe, you nailed it!! 100% all the way around. The Bucs probably have (what will prove to be) the best safety tandem in the NFL!! The Winfield and Whitehead Show is a force to be reckoned with. They will get in receivers heads early in games and look for a lot of dropped passes by opponents and a record year for interceptions. I see our defense scoring often too. It’s going to be a fun year.

  12. BigMacAttack Says:

    Whitehead’s next contract will be a big one.

  13. Hodad Says:

    Adding Tykee Smith also helps. Izein did well last year, but he’s a walk on, Smith is a high draft choice. Played in the same defense in the SEC where he had 4 picks, and all kind of stats. If McCullen turns into a play making corner, this could be our best secondary in quite some time.

  14. Beeej Says:

    The limitations of Neal affected our entire defensive strategy. I can’t believe he was better than Delaney

  15. Dave Pear Says:

    The poor play of Neal was so disappointing. He came in with high expectations after his Seattle role, Todd was talking about how smart he was.

    Shows how on paper, someone can pass a test but crumble like a stale biscuit in a live situation. Neal gave away Falcons 1 single handedly, and often when the defense was busting Todd’s parametric zone schemes, it was Neal with the biggest busts.

  16. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Isn’t anyone going to ask: “Why did the Jets let Whitehead go?”

  17. JamesrunningWilder Says:

    Another thing to consider is that Whitehead is a “Plug and Play” Player and will have a Zero Learning Curve because he’s already played in this Defense.

  18. Dude Says:

    “Isn’t anyone going to ask: “Why did the Jets let Whitehead go?”

    LVD said after Whitehead was re-signed this past spring that Whitehead had been in contact with his former Bucs teammates and expressed his desire to come back which is probably part of it.

    Outside of that, NYJ had 3 safeties who had expiring contracts at the end of last season and ended last season knowing they’d be in a pinch in terms of cap space, so safety wasn’t a high priority for them. They’ve got Tony Adams & Austyn Davis likely penciled in as starters. I know they’re really high on Davis, so that’s probably the other part outside of affordability.

  19. SlyPirate Says:

    Okay. He’s definitely an upgrade but let’s temper the enthusiasm. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tykee Smith gets time at that spot. He will be better than Whitehead after a season. Good problems.

  20. Dave Pear Says:

    What have we lost, and what have we gained?

    We lost Neal, who was no better than if you put a stump with no arms or legs and an IQ of 5 out there (sort of like Osqueeltard only a little smarter).

    We gained a guy who wanted to come back, who loves football and is a ferocious tackler, who proved in NY he wasn’t just a system player. We also lost Davis who has been in decline but gained Whitehead’s teammate Hall, drafted a versatile cerebral player and are excited about Izien and Zyon.

    Arrow pointing up.


  21. JimBobBuc Says:

    Neal was literally a highlight reel for the other teams’ offenses and the weakest link in the entire defense. Whitehead should allow Bowles to play less Charmin soft zone in the middle of the field. I think Tykee will be on the field with Whitehead and Win, and Tykee will blitz from the slot nickel position. Since Dean doesn’t have CD3 to alternate with for his injury/rest games, Dean might be on the field a little more, but Bryce will eventually replace him. Who knows, maybe Bryce will pick up the defense in TC and make Dean trade bait for Joe’s fantasy edge rusher.

  22. D Cone Says:

    As good as the Jets Defense has been over the last two seasons their Safety Unit was by far their weakest link.

    Missed tackles Whitehead and Co ranked 30th with an average of 15.5%. Whitehead missed tackle rate was 18%.

    Yards per Catch Jets Safety Group ranked at 21st with an 8.5 yard average. Whitehead gave up 10.9 yards per catch.

    Whitehead also had the worse TD to INT ratio of the Group even having 4 picks. Although 3 were in week 1 and he had one the rest of the season. He gave up 7 TD’s in 2023.

    Perhaps there will be a weaker link in the secondary at any given time and he will not draw attention and will look well worth the small investment.

  23. Badbucs Says:

    Lol Dave Pear. Have fun brother

  24. Chris McCann Says:

    Also don’t forget Bowles got to see Tykee Smith play a lot of his College Ball while Bowles was watching his son Troy at Georgia.