Report: Raiders Not Expected to Bring Back Veteran Linebacker, Team Captain Tahir Whitehead

The Raiders are expected to make significant changes at linebacker in the months ahead, but will veteran captain Tahir Whitehead survive the overhaul?

It doesn’t sound like it.

“It doesn’t appear that team captain Tahir Whitehead will return,” The Athletic’s Vic Tafur reported on Friday. “[Whitehead] just didn’t make a lot of plays and the Raiders can save $6.25 million against the salary cap by cutting him. Will Compton did make some plays when he took over in the middle for four starts at the end of the season, but he is a free agent and, at 30, is a guy you can target later in free agency.”

For as much as the Raiders wide receiver group has been scrutinized, they are actually in a much worse position at linebacker. A complete overhaul at the position is entirely possible and if anyone deserves a chance to be back, it might be Vontaze Burfict, who could at least contribute for a few weeks until the league bans him forever for his next hard tackle.

Tafur hinted that Jon Gruden might not be willing to break the bank on linebackers in free agency, but the Raiders might not have a choice but to go “all in” on Rams LB Cory Littleton if he makes it to free agency. The days of winning in the NFL with slow veteran linebackers have come to an end and Littleton is the best linebacker in pass coverage that free agency has to offer.

If only one high-priced free agent can make to Las Vegas, it needs to be Littleton… and even if that happens Gruden should be aggressive in adding another starting-caliber linebacker before the draft.

And by the way, when was the last time the Raiders could consider the linebacker position a position of strength on the roster?

twitter: @raidersbeat


15 thoughts on “Report: Raiders Not Expected to Bring Back Veteran Linebacker, Team Captain Tahir Whitehead

  1. Whitehead was a stop gap till they figured out what they were doing at linebacker. Everyone knew he wasn’t the answer. 2 down linebackers are a thing of the past. Whitehead just isn’t a starting-caliber linebacker anymore. I would need mad if you took a pay cut and came back…. But I doubt that’s going to happen


    Free Agency Musts: LB/CB

    Answer: Sign Ram’s LB Cory Littleton and Cowboy’s CB Byron Jones immediately.

    2020 NFL Draft 1st Round Musts: LB/WR

    Answer: No brainer if available at #12 pick:
    Clemson’s LB Isaiah Simmons (If not available, scoop up Oaklahoma’s LB Kenneth Murray) , at #19 pick: Oaklahoma’s WR CeeDee Lamb or Alabama’s WR Jerry Jeudy (basicly, which ever of the two #1 WRs still there at#19.)

    Mic drop….

    1. U got that backwards.. Jeudy or Lamb will NOT be there at #19. A LB can be had at that spot, while a WR (Top-Flight) needs to be taken at #12.

      Mic drop..

  3. U know our defence it’s a must to upgrade thru free agency the draft it doesn’t matter but u will see a big difference with a stronger defense bottom line #1 receiver LB,CB got funds to first round picks I think where be cool and ready for combat come 2020 VIVA LAS VEGAS BABY “RAIDERS 4LIFE

  4. Overhaul needed. Speed, coverage and east-west pursuit with power. Just to remind Holmes, Watson, Jackson and Wilson not to run.

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