The Cleveland Browns kicked off NFL Free Agency yesterday by signing hometown kid Donte Whitner. Whitner was born in Cleveland, attending high school at Glenville. Whitner also played for The Ohio State University. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 8th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. Before the start of the 2011 season, Whitner signed with the San Francisco 49ers. He has 669 career tackles, 1.5 sacks, 10 interceptions, and 8 fumbles forced.
Last year, Whitner had 73 tackles and 2 interceptions. Whitner is primarily known for the brutal nature of the hits he delivers, and has been known as one of, if not the, hardest hitting players in the NFL.
Whitner has flirted with playing in Cleveland in past free agency, but there never seemed to be a doubt this time. It was reported as early as Saturday that Whitner would be signing with the Browns.
Being a hometown kid, Whitner has seemingly become a fan favorite overnight.
Overall, Whitner is widely considered a good signing for the Browns. He is only 16 months older than the guy he’s replacing (TJ Ward), and is a sizeable upgrade in coverage.