Jordan Whitehead rejoining Bucs after career-high INTs in '23

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Safety Jordan Whitehead is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after agreeing to a two-year, $9 million contract, his agent, Sunny Shah, told ESPN on Wednesday.

The deal could be worth up to $10.5 million, Shah told ESPN's Jenna Laine.

Whitehead, 27, was a starter on the Buccaneers' Super Bowl team in the 2020 season, spending four years in Tampa Bay before joining the New York Jets in free agency after the 2021 season.

The Buccaneers coaching staff and front office were high on Whitehead, but the team was in a bind financially after supporting two years of Tom Brady Super Bowl runs, which is why they let him go in free agency.

Whitehead started every game for the Jets over the past two seasons and rarely came off the field. He is known for being a "box" safety but played over 800 snaps last season as a deep safetyand is an exceptionally hard hitter. He can play both high and low and has worked hard throughout his career to demonstrate his coverage ability.

Whitehead played the game of his life in the 2023 opener, intercepting Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen three times in the Jets' overtime win on "Monday Night Football." Whitehead's performance was overshadowed after quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending Achilles injury early in that game.

Whitehead finished the season with four interceptions, a career high, and nine passes defended, which tied a career high. He also made 97 tackles. He allowed six touchdown passes as the nearest defender, tied for the second most among safeties, according to Next Gen Stats. That number could be misleading, though, because the Jets played predominantly zone coverage.

A starter for six seasons, Whitehead has 11 career interceptions.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Rich Cimini contributed to this report.