New Carolina Panthers linebacker Tahir Whitehead has potentially big shoes to fill in the the wake of Luke Kuechly's sudden retirement last January.
Since coming to the Panthers, Whitehead — who wore No. 59 on his uniform with the Detroit Lions and the then-Oakland Raiders — has switched to No. 52. Besides that subtle change to what could end up being a future jersey retired by the organization, Whitehead opened up to filling in for Kuechly and why he's not the same player as the revered recently retired linebacker.
Whitehead inked a one-year deal with the Panthers this spring to the tune of $2.5 million. He last played for the Raiders, spending two seasons out west after initially starting his professional tenure with the Lions as a fifth-round selection out of Temple in 2012.
The 6-foot-2 outside linebacker registered 108 combined tackles during the 2019 season with Oakland, totaling six tackles for loss and one quarterback hits in 16 games.