The San Francisco 49ers are working hard to re-sign strong safety Donte Whitner, who is a key part of one of the league’s best secondaries and is coming off of the best year of his career. Whitner has a reputation for being a dirty hitter and plenty of fines that seemingly back that reputation up, but he’s actually one of the league’s best form tacklers and simply delivers ridiculously hard hits with his shoulder. You know, the right way.
Anyway, it doesn’t look like the 49ers will be able to re-sign Whitner, as the Cleveland Browns are close to signing the Cleveland native. In fact, it has been reported that Whitner believes he will sign with the Browns shortly after the start of free agency, and he would be a great replacement for T.J. Ward.
The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs reports that if the 49ers are indeed unable to keep Whitner around, then they could show interest in New York Giants strong safety Ryan Mundy as his replacement. While Mundy isn’t nearly as good as Whitner, he’s a decent enough safety and does a good job of stuffing the run in the box. The 29-year-old recorded 77 tackles last season, but he’s also a liability in pass coverage. The 49ers might not have better options, though, so keep Mundy’s name in mind as a potential option for them. The Chicago Bears also have interest in him, but I don’t think he makes as a fit with the Bears.