Steelers Urged to Sign Safety Who Picked Off Kenny Pickett’s 1st Pass

jordan whitehead vs pittsburgh steelers

Getty The Pittsburgh Steelers were urged to sign Jordan Whitehead during the 2024 offseason

The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t expecting to have an issue at safety during the 2023 NFL season.

They had Minkah Fitzpatrick coming off of a season where he was named a First Team All-Pro. To fill the other safety spot, the Steelers signed former Damontae Kazee to a two-year contract.

Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick missed some games with injuries and Kazee was suspended at the end of the regular season.

It left the team with some serious depth issues, but they luckily got solid contributions from Patrick Peterson and Eric Rowe.

However, they’ll spend the 2024 offseason trying to make sure they don’t have to turn to a member of their practice squad and a corner for help at safety next season.

To avoid that repeat, they could turn to a safety they’re familiar with for both good and bas reasons.

Steelers Nation’s Anthony G. Halkias II believes the Steelers should “absolutely” sign Jordan Whitehead during the 2024 offseason.

The New York Jets voided Whitehead’s contract on February 16, making him a free agent.

Despite spending his NFL career with the Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’s a player who has a bit of history with Pittsburgh.

Steelers Familiar With Whitehead

When Whitehead made his way to the NFL he was likely a player that the Steelers did their due diligence on.

The Steelers haven’t been shy about drafting local talents in recent years and the former Jets safety certainly fits that bill.

Whitehead grew up and played high school football in the Pittsburgh area. Then he played college ball at Pitt.

He didn’t end up getting drafted by the Steelers, but he made sure to remind the city of Pittsburgh who he was during a 2022 matchup against the team he grew up supporting.

Whitehead made his first visit to Pittsburgh as a pro while he was a member of the Jets and that first visit ended up being an important day for the Steelers.

It happened to be the day that Kenny Pickett replaced Mitch Trubisky.

The change came on the team’s first drive of the second half.

The way the drive ended may have been a bad omen for the rest of Pickett’s career.

His first NFL pass attempt was intercepted by Whitehead.

Pickett has struggled since that interception while the Jets’ safety put together another solid season in 2023.

A Solid 2023 Season

The Jets may have ended up deciding to let Whitehead walk during the 2024 offseason, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t still a solid contributor during the 2023 season.

He started every game of the year for the Jets. It was the second consecutive season where he started every game for them and he put together some solid numbers over his 17 games.

Whitehead intercepted 4 passes in 2023 without anything of the passes being thrown by a Steelers QB and defended 9 other passes. He also made 97 tackles during the season, including 3 for a loss.

The interceptions and tackles were both career highs while the passes defended tied Whitehead’s career high.

Those kinds of numbers would make Whitehead a pretty enticing option lining up alongside Fitzpatrick.

As he spends the 2024 offseason looking for a new team, maybe that 2023 performance will help him find a contract back home.

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