Timothy Rapp Al Pereira/Getty Images @@TRappaRT Twitter Logo Featured Columnist

The Carolina Panthers are signing veteran linebacker Tahir Whitehead to a one-year contract, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The Las Vegas Raiders released Whitehead earlier this month, a move that saved them $6.3 million in cap space.

Whitehead, 29, has registered 100 or more tackles in four straight seasons. In 16 games last year, he posted 108 tackles (six for loss) and a quarterback hit. He has spent time with the Detroit Lions (2012-17) and Raiders (2018-19) in his career.

He remains a solid option against the run, though he has struggled immensely in the passing game:

But Carolina needed to address the linebacker position after Luke Kuechly's retirement, and Whitehead offers the team a veteran presence in that spot.

It's been an offseason of change in Carolina. The Panthers are set to cut tieswith veteran quarterback Cam Newton and signed Teddy Bridgewater in free agency. Their other notable offseason additions have included head coach Matt Rhule and offensive tackle Russell Okung, while Newton, Kuechly, Eric Reid, Trai Turner, James Bradberry, Bruce Irvin, Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, among others, have all moved on.

It's clearly the beginning of a rebuild.

On offense, the team will build around superstar running back Christian McCaffrey, one of the best all-around weapons in football. Defensively, the Panthers will have a new identity. Replacing a player like Kuechly is impossible, but Whitehead will offer them experience and production, at least against the run.


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