Florham Park, NJ – The universe can have a cruel sense of irony as these past few weeks have taught the receiver/kick return named Lucky. Nicknamed Lucky, yet Lucky Whitehead has been anything but lucky lately. It started when his dog got kidnapped (which, good lord, what awful person kidnaps someone’s dog?) and held for ransom, then continued when a warrant was issued for his arrest because someone else gave the police Whitehead’s information. Whitehead tried to tell the Cowboys he didn’t actually get arrested, there had to be a mistake, but head coach Jason Garrett reportedly told Whitehead he didn’t believe him so the Cowboys cut him.
Shortly after being released news broke that Whitehead was in fact telling the truth, but it was too late. Whitehead was no longer a Cowboys. Whitehead said it’s been a crazy and confusing couple of weeks and he’s clearly unhappy with the way the Cowboys treated him (deservingly so).
“Explanation?” Whitehead said, “I don’t think I ever got an explanation.”
We all know there’s a sliding scale for what teams will let players get away with, if you’re a star player you can withstand getting arrested for actual crimes. If you’re a fringe roster player not so much, but to be released because ‘there’s too much going around you’ when your dog gets kidnapped and a warrant gets mistakingly put out for your arrest? That’s not supposed to be anywhere on that sliding scale.
For Whitehead, he hopes that his luck has finally changed. Of course there were plenty of jokes that the unluckiest thing to happen to him through all of this is to be claimed by the Jets, and sure that makes for a solid joke, but as far as finding a spot to stick and actually contribute the Jets might have been the best place for him. The Jets aren’t exactly star red at receiver, they have a lot of good, young talent with potential but it’s not impossible for him to crack the rotation. But, more importantly the Jets had a desperate need for a kick/punt returner and that’s something Whitehead can certainly do.
After watching 10 minutes of special teams practice on the first day of camp, Whitehead flashed a quick burst, steady hands and confidence in what he was doing to make himself the clear favorite to win the job of kick returner with the Jets. Because of that, maybe just maybe Whitehead’s luck has changed for the better and with that he could certainly make the Jets a better football team by improving their return game which has been lacking for years.
“I’m just happy to get an opportunity to start over and clean my slate,” Whitehead said. “I’m happy to be here and, like I said, start over.”
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