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Tampa Bay Lands Pittsburgh Native, Potential Steelers Safety Target Jordan Whitehead



Jordan Whitehead
Jordan Whitehead — Washington Football Team vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers from FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland, November 14th, 2021 (All-Pro Reels Photography)

Pittsburgh native and Pitt alum Jordan Whitehead is heading back to where his NFL career began.

Whitehead, a Central Valley grad who starred at Pitt from 2015-17, signed a 2-year, $9 million deal — a max value of $10.5 million — with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to a report from Ian Rapoport.

It’s a solid deal for Whitehead, who some expected might return to Pittsburgh with the Steelers, and he will have the opportunity to resume his starting spot in the Bucs’ secondary two seasons after leaving for a stint with the New York Jets.

Whitehead wrapped up his second year with the Jets in 2023 (starting all 17 games), and he showcased a continued ability to impact a football game from the backend. In 17 games, he recorded 97 tackles (65 solo), three tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, four interceptions and nine pass breakups.

In two seasons with the Jets, starting all 34 games, he recorded 186 tackles (123 solo), seven tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, six interceptions and 17 pass breakups.

In four prior seasons with the Buccaneers, he racked up 292 tackles (222 solo), 22 tackles for loss, two sacks, forced fumbles and recoveries, five interceptions and 25 passes defended in 59 games — starting 55 of those games.

The hard-hitting safety played an integral role on Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl-winning squad in 2021, and he will be expected to help revamp the Bucs’ backend — returning to play alongside star Antoine Winfield Jr.

Whitehead, originally a four-star recruit at Pitt out of Central Valley High School in Monaca, Pa., recorded 235 tackles (162 solo), 8.5 tackles for loss, a half-sack, three interceptions, 12 passes defended and two defensive touchdowns in just 31 games at Pitt between 2015-17.

He was originally selected by the Buccaneers with a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. And he’s now one of a number of former Pitt stars on the Buccaneers’ defense, joining 2023 draft picks Calijah Kancey and SirVocea Dennis.

The Steelers are looking for a new strong safety after releasing Keanu Neal earlier this offseason.