According to Cleveland Browns beat-writer Mary Kay Cabot of the The Plain Dealer, the Browns’ are “very serious” about signing soon-to-be free agent Safety Donte Whitner (San Francisco 49ers). According to a source close to Whitner, the Browns’ are one of his top choices, and it would be a dream come true for him to return to his hometown. Whitner a Cleveland native, stared at Glenville High School and The Ohio State University; is entering his ninth season, and could be signed to replace Browns’ Safety T.J. Ward if he leaves in free agency.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 10, 2014
In my opinion Whitner and Ward are similar on paper and in play style, the only difference at this point is the age. Whitner (28), will command a lesser contract in free agency than Browns’ Ward (27). Ward is coming off a Pro Bowl season, and could be paid a large contact based on his projected ability to have a long career. Although Whitner is only a year older he has played eight season in the NFL, compared to Ward’s four, and this could be the difference in the contact negotiations. The one fact of this free agency rumor that I do like is Whitner has the experience, and could immediately step-in and fill the leadership void left by the exit of Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (Indianapolis Colts).