Following Alex Cappa‘s defection to the Bengals, another Buccaneers starter is leaving. The Jets are signing Jordan Whitehead, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets. It’s a two-year agreement, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com tweets.
A veteran safety, Whitehead joins cornerback D.J. Reed in a Jets secondary that has added two starters Tuesday afternoon. Whitehead worked as a starter throughout his four-year Bucs career, helping the team mount its run to Super Bowl LV. The soon-to-be 25-year-old DB is signing for $14.5MM, CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweets.
Tampa Bay drafted Whitehead in the 2018 fourth round, and he started 55 games for the team over the course of his rookie contract. The Bucs gave Carlton Davis a new deal but have opted to let Whitehead and M.J. Stewart leave from their homegrown secondary. Two years remain on Antoine Winfield Jr.‘s rookie pact.
Whitehead, a Pitt alum, forced two fumbles during the 2020 playoffs and stood out during the Bucs’ Round 1 win over the Eagles this past season. In 2021, Whitehead allowed a career-low 62.6 passer rating when targeted and yielded a career-low (by far) 8.6 yards per completion.
The Jets ranked last in both points and yards allowed in 2021, giving Robert Saleh a long way to go as he aims to elevate the team’s capabilities on this side of the ball. Reed and Whitehead represent nice steps here. The Jets have long been expected to part ways with Marcus Maye, who is a free agent after suffering an injury during his franchise tag season.