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Donte Whitner | Defensive Back

Team: Cleveland Browns
Age / DOB:  (29) / 7/24/1985
Ht / Wt:  5'10' / 208
College: Ohio State
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

Browns SS Donte Whitner has opted against changing his last name to "Hitner."
It's a slow news day to say the least. Having to change his name on car titles, mortgages, and other legal documents is the reason Whitner provided for sticking to his birth name. "All for one letter change?" Whitner said. "I'd rather not." Hitner or not, he'll still be an intimidating presence on the back end. Wed, Apr 30, 2014 03:01:00 PM

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Browns signed SS Donte Whitner to a four-year, $28 million contract.

The Browns replace T.J. Ward with Whitner, a two-time Pro Bowler and a true intimidator over the middle. He was ProFootballFocus' No. 6 safety in the league last season. With Joe Haden and rumors of a Darrelle Revis pursuit, the Browns secondary is looking fearsome.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 04:07:00 PM's Aditi Kinkhabwala reports the Browns are "getting close" with free agents Donte Whitner and Arthur Moats.

Whitner appears to be the Browns' top target, while Moats would be following his Bills DC Mike Pettine to Cleveland. Deals will likely be wrapped up shortly after 4ET.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 11:51:00 AM

Dustin Fox of the Browns Radio Network reports free agent SS Donte Whitner is "likely headed" to Cleveland "when the signing period begins."

The signing period begins Tuesday at 4PM ET. The Cleveland Plain Dealer previously reported the Browns were "very serious" about signing Whitner, who played his college ball at Ohio State and would replace free agent T.J. Ward.
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 03:18:00 PM

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports the Browns are "very serious" about signing free agent Donte Whitner.

A Cleveland native, Whitner would be replacing fellow free agent T.J. Ward. The Browns' interest in Whitner could be a sign they won't be serious suitors for Jairus Byrd. Whitner would be cheaper than either Ward or Byrd.
Mon, Mar 10, 2014 01:12:00 PM

The New York Daily News reports the Jets have interest in free agent SS Donte Whitner and RB Maurice Jones-Drew.

This is the first whisper of any team having interest in Jones-Drew -- and the same goes for Whitner -- since the negotiating window opened Saturday at noon. Whitner would be a tough fit in New York because he's a box safety similar to current Jets SS Dawan Landry. Jones-Drew would upgrade on Bilal Powell as a third-down back, and likely form a backfield timeshare with Chris Ivory.
Sun, Mar 9, 2014 05:12:00 PM

CSN Bay Area reports the 49ers are not expected to use the franchise tag this offseason.

SS Donte Whitner, CB Tarell Brown, and WR Anquan Boldin would appear to be the most likely candidates for the tag. The 49ers would like to re-sign all three, but the tenders at each position are awfully high. It would cost the 49ers about $8 million to tag Whitner, $11.5 million to tag Boldin, and $11.2 million to slap it on Brown. Whitner is just 28 and is our No. 3 free-agent safety.
Tue, Feb 11, 2014 11:23:00 AM

CSN Bay Area expects impending 49ers free agents SS Donte Whitner and CB Tarell Brown to reach the open market.

The 49ers franchise tagged S Dashon Goldson in 2012, but appear ready to let Whitner and Brown walk unless they're willing to accept team-friendly deals. There's little reason for either to do so before getting a whiff of the open market. In between doling out his trademark illegal hits and mulling changing his last name to "Hitner," Whitner had a strong 2013, grading out as Pro Football Focus' No. 6 safety. Appearing in all 16 games for the third time in four years, Whitner notched 73 tackles, two picks and two forced fumbles. Whitner turns 29 in July.
Mon, Jan 27, 2014 04:12:00 PM

49ers SS Donte Whitner has filed official paperwork to change his last name to "Hitner."

"That's what I do. It's my last name and removing a letter makes it pretty cool," he said. One of the league's poster boys for illegal hits on defenseless receivers, Whitner was most recently fined $21,000 for his shot on Chris Givens last Thursday night. He's hoping to get the change implemented on his jersey by this Sunday. Once it happens, Whitner will reportedly have to purchase all the remaining inventory of merchandise with his old name on it.
Thu, Oct 3, 2013 08:34:00 AM

49ers SS Donte Whitner (hip) will play in Week 4 against the Eagles.

He was limited all week in practice, but the 49ers will need everything he has to stop LeSean McCoy today. Whitner was called "highly questionable" heading into today's game, so there's a good chance he's at less than 100 percent.
Sun, Oct 2, 2011 12:08:00 PM

49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said SS Donte Whitner (hip) is "highly questionable" for Sunday's game against the Eagles.

Whitner has 11 tackles and one interception through three games. LeSean McCoy and the Eagles' running game gets a boost if the thumper can't go.
Thu, Sep 29, 2011 01:04:00 PM

The 49ers will use use Donte Whitner as a "true" strong safety, allowing him to "morph into a linebacker" in nickel packages.

We initially guessed third safety Reggie Smith might replace Whitner on passing downs, but the $12 million man is going to be a three-down player. The Niners' front seven became more leaky this offseason, losing NT Aubrayo Franklin and ILB Takeo Spikes. Whitner will be the main beneficiary in IDP leagues.
Fri, Aug 19, 2011 12:40:00 PM

49ers signed SS Donte Whitner to a three-year, $11.75 million contract, including $4 million guaranteed.

Whitner personally text messaged media members that he was signing with Cincinnati, wrote it on his Twitter page, and the Bengals even posted the deal on their website. He changed his mind at the last minute and is going to be a Niner. Whitner will be the strong safety to Reggie Smith's free, and likely an immediate starter in IDP leagues. A true "in the box," run-support safety, the 49ers should be careful to not leave Whitner in coverage too much.
Thu, Aug 4, 2011 05:16:00 PM

Bengals signed SS Donte Whitner to a two-year contract.

Whitner, who just turned 26, will add competition to a Bengals safety position that was projected to produce Reggie Nelson and Chris Crocker as starters. Both Nelson and Crocker are now on notice. Whitner led all NFL defensive backs in tackles (140) last season, and run support has long been his primary strength. Pro Football Focus graded Whitner 70th out of 85 qualifying safeties in coverage. The Bengals should make sure to keep him in the box, playing strong safety across from the winner of the Nelson-Crocker camp battle.
Thu, Aug 4, 2011 02:20:00 PM

According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals' interest in free agent SS Donte Whitner appears to have "cooled off."

Reedy no longer expects Whitner to sign with the Bengals. The former No. 8 overall pick's market has been softer than anyone could have imagined. Whitner won't be back in Buffalo, and the Bengals so far have been his best bet.
Mon, Aug 1, 2011 11:41:00 PM