Panthers: 3 goals for Tahir Whitehead to get a long-term deal

(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead
(Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead /
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Tahir Whitehead, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Tahir Whitehead /

Carolina Panthers Goal No. 2: Career-high in pass deflections

Tahir Whitehead hasn’t been the best during passing downs throughout his career. He does have some athletic gifts that lend support to making a contribution. But this is something that hasn’t translated to the field.

The Carolina Panthers will come up against some elite passing attacks in 2020. And this is especially evident in their NFC South divisional matchups. Luke Kuechly thrived with this responsibility. But it remains to be seen whether Whitehead is up to the challenge.

The eight-year-pro has never had more than six pass deflections in his career. This was achieved as a member of the Detroit Lions back in 2015. And this is as many as Whitehead managed to secure during his two years with the Las Vegas Raiders.

This is a relatively young and unproven defense. So the Panthers will need their experience veterans firing on all cylinders. The move back to a 4-3 should generate plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. But there are significant questions regarding their secondary and second-level pass coverage to answer as the season goes on.

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Whitehead might be a little long in the tooth to make a complete turnaround in his fortunes in passing situations. But if he can hold his own in the face of stern competition, then the linebacker has every chance of getting a new deal.