Las Vegas Raiders clear cap space by releasing Tahir Whitehead
By Brad Weiss
The Las Vegas Raiders have started to clear cap space, and according to ESPN’s Field Yates, they have released linebacker Tahir Whitehead.
Heading into the 2020 NFL season, the Las Vegas Raiders knew they needed to make big changes on the defensive side of the ball. Whether it is the defensive line, the linebackers, or the secondary, there are too many holes on the defense, and general manager Mike Mayock needs to make that the focus this offseason.
According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Mayock got to work early, releasing linebacker Tahir Whitehead, a starter for the team the last two years. By releasing Whitehead, the Silver and Black save $6.2 million in cap space, while taking on a dead cap hit of only a little over $1 million.
This move makes a lot of sense for the Raiders, who will be very active in free agency this offseason, and needed to shed some payroll. They are in a solid spot financially after this move, and can now go after some of the big name defensive players out there like Cory Littleton and Joe Schobert among other linebackers.
Whitehead started all 32 games for the Raiders over the last two seasons, racking up at least 100 tackles in each. However, he struggled mightily in coverage, and despite the triple-digit tackles, was a liability at times for a porous defense that was one of the worst in the league.
The Raiders need a complete overhaul at the linebacker position, and the release of Whitehead brings them more cap space, and the ability to bring in players more suited for Paul Guenther’s system. Whitehead had his moments in the Silver and Black, but this move was necessary with the way the team is being built moving forward.
Heading to Las Vegas, this is sure to be a roller coaster of an offseason for the Raiders, who are looking to not only build on their three-win improvement from last season, but also make the playoffs in their first season in Sin City. Whitehead was not going to help them do that, and hopefully they can go out and spend the money saved on players who can help them on defense immediately.