San Francisco 49ers strong safety Donte Whitner (31) reacts after a defensive stop against the Carolina Panthers at the goal line during the first half of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Donte Whitner expects to sign with Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are doing whatever they can to make their defense even more talented this offseason, and they have the cap space to make a few big acquisitions. They have shown interest in the likes of Jairus Byrd, Darrelle Revis, Karlos Dansby, and even Tyson Jackson this offseason, but most of the free agent rumors circling around the Browns have been focused on a Cleveland native in Donte Whitner, who would be an excellent replacement for elite impending free agent strong safety T.J. Ward

While Whitner isn’t nearly as good as Ward, he’s obviously a great safety in his own right and could even be better in coverage than Ward. Whitner had an excellent 2013 season, forming a nasty safety duo with San Francisco 49ers rookie FS Eric Reid. Signing Whitner would make too much sense for the Browns, and the interest is clearer mutual.

In fact, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reports that Whitner expects to sign with the Browns “shortly after” free agency opens today. The Browns are also reportedly close to signing top linebacker Karlos Dansby, and both players would be great additions for new GM Ray Farmer. Safety, of course, is the priority, and it will be interesting to see if the Browns still show interest in Revis if they sign those two aforementioned FAs.

Tags: Cleveland Browns Donte Whitner San Francisco 49ers

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