White, 25, is expected to be a valuable acquisition for the Magpies as a second key forward, taking pressure off Travis Cloke and allowing All Australian defender Ben Reid to play in defence. He will also put pressure on Quinten Lynch to win the ruck/forward position.
White played his best season for the Sydney Swans in 2013, kicking 20 goals in 15 games. He has kicked 73 goals and 71 games.
It was the first consistent display of talent from White since 2010 and was enough to impress the Magpies recruiting manager Derek Hine.
"Jesse has a combination of speed, power and height," Hine said.
"His versatility was also a factor. Jesse has played key forward, third forward, in the ruck and, with his pace, up on a wing. At 25 he has lots of football ahead of him, he is seasoned so he helps us straight away and, in our view, the best of Jesse White is yet to be seen."
White met with Adelaide during the trade period last year as part of negotiations to get Kurt Tippett to the Swans.
After that option fell through, White knew he had to make every post a winner during 2013.
"A deal with Adelaide became a possibility late last year but when that fell through I decided the best thing I could do was to have the best season possible and make things happen, open up some other doors," White said.
"I just wanted to play, regularly, and then Collingwood came into the picture which coincided with my family moving back to Victoria from the Gold Coast. I grew up in Richmond until I was three, so I’ve sort of come full circle."
The Magpies are still aiming to secure 20-year-old Taylor Adams from Greater Western Sydney.