Donte Whitner headed back to hometown Browns

Donte Whitner reportedly is headed back to his hometown of Cleveland. (USATSI)
Donte Whitner reportedly is headed back to his hometown of Cleveland. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

With the Browns likely about to lose safety T.J. Ward to free agency, they're reportedly about to gain another high-profile safety in Donte Whitner.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Whitner, a Cleveland native, will be returning to play for his hometown team beginning in 2014.

"This would be a chance for him to come back home and give back to the community," a source told reporter Mary Kay Cabot. "He feels it's his responsibility to make his hometown a better place.

The 28-year-old ranks No. 20 on our CBSSports.com free agent list -- even if he can't figure out whether he wants to keep the "W" at the beginning of his surname -- but he figures to be cheaper than Jairus Byrd, who could become the highest-paid free agency in NFL history whenever and wherever he signs a deal.

Whitner has spent the last three seasons with the 49ers, and he's coming off a strong performance in 2013. He ranked as the No. 6 safety according to Pro Football Focus, and he accumulated 82 tackles, two interceptions and a career-high 15 pass break-ups.

Later Tuesday, Whitner tweeted his excitement about going back to Ohio.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories