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Carolina Panthers

Get to know new linebacker Tahir Whitehead


The Panthers on Monday signed Tahir Whitehead, who spent the last two seasons captaining Oakland's defense. Heading into his ninth season, the linebacker has become one of the league's most productive defenders.

Before Whitehead starts tracking down opponents for the Panthers, get to know Carolina's newest linebacker.

A tackling machine

Ever since Whitehead became a full-time starter in 2016, he's been highly productive.

He's led his team in tackles for four straight seasons, including a career-best 132 stops in 2016 with the Lions. In each of the past four years, Whitehead topped the 100-tackle mark and ranks fourth in the NFL in the time frame.

Leading on and off the field

In addition to paving the way for the Raiders' defense, Whitehead was chosen as the team's 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year Nominee for his contributions to the Oakland community.

Whether it was leading the Raiders' Crucial Catch initiative, delivering toys to a local children's hospital, or hosting a 5K to support homeless veterans, Whitehead stayed busy giving back last year. And for the past five years, he's hosted a free youth football camp in his hometown of Newark, N.J., on top of sponsoring an annual back-to-school backpack drive and a number of other initiatives.

Temple Tough

Whitehead may not have suited up for the Owls while current Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was in charge, but the two did overlap during their time in Philadelphia.

While Whitehead was playing at Temple from 2008-11, Rhule served as the team's offensive coordinator, among other duties. So, there's certainly a level of familiarity between the two.

Whitehead previously played for Lions (2012-17) and Raiders (2018-19) before signing with the Panthers.

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