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Raiders continue free agent frenzy, add Tahir Whitehead


The Raiders made it lucky number five late Wednesday, signing former-Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead via free agency.

Whitehead, 27, spent each of his previous six NFL seasons in Detroit recording 378 tackles (63 per season), four interceptions and five fumbles recovered. Usually lining up as an inside linebacker, the former fifth-round selection does not bring much experience rushing the passer, having sacked opposing quarterbacks just three times in his career, but he does bring some level of success both in the run stopping and pass coverage duties.

He has also been a model of consistency, appearing in 93 games in his six years — missing just two in his rookie season — and taking the starting assignment 31 games in the past two seasons.

Whitehead joins Marcus Gilchrist as the first defensive additions in what has been a very busy day for new head coach Jon Gruden and the Raiders.

Along with the six new additions, Oakland also retained the services of blocking extraordinaire, tight end Lee Smith. Smith has spent the past three seasons in the silver and black hauling in 26 of his 30 targets with the Raiders for 175 yards and one touchdown (coming in 2015).

Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Raiders beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at for full coverage of Raiders football.

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