Panthers: 3 goals for Tahir Whitehead to get a long-term deal
What does linebacker Tahir Whitehead have to do in 2020 in order to secure a longer-term commitment from the Carolina Panthers?
It is going to be strange seeing the Carolina Panthers take the field without linebacker Luke Kuechly next season. The legendary linebacker called it a day after eight glittering years with the organization. And this represents a significant blow to the new regime during the first year of their rebuild.
Kuechly was the heart and soul of the Carolina Panthers from a defensive perspective. He brought a passion and ruthless aggression never seen before with the franchise. And he backed this up with exceptional production on almost every down.
Replacing the perennial All-Pro is a daunting task that will fall squarely on the shoulders of Tahir Whitehead. The Panthers brought the linebacker in on a one-year, $2.5 million deal from the Las Vegas Raiders with a $1.45 million signing bonus and a further $1.45 million guaranteed.
While the veteran might only be seen as a short-term solution at the position. Carolina displayed a tremendous amount of faith in Whitehead by not adding any further depth during the 2020 NFL Draft. And his previous experience of working with Matt Rhule during their time together at Temple should ensure a smooth transition to his new environment.
Whitehead has been a consistent performer throughout his career after coming into the league as a fifth-round pick in 2012. This was the same year that the Panthers took Kuechly with the No. 9 overall selection out of Boston College. But their respective careers went down different paths.
There is a chance that Whitehead can earn a bigger commitment from the Panthers if he plays as expected. He is a solid contributor to the second level. And although he does have some limitations. It could be a shrewd move from the decision-makers.
Here are three goals that could see Whitehead get a long-term deal with the Panthers next spring.