Donte Whitner has performed a variety of roles since getting drafted eighth overall by the Bills in 2006. He’s played strong safety, nickel cornerback, and free safety.
Now he’s facing the surprising possibility of a new role: reserve.
FoxSports.com reports that Buffalo’s coaching staff is eager to see what rookie second round pick Jairus Byrd can do in training camp. If Byrd performs well, he could start at free safety, with journeyman Bryan Scott at strong safety.
Whitner was arrested earlier this offseason, but the competition looks to be based on his play. Buffalo is looking for more playmaking ability in their secondary and believes Byrd, a former cornerback, could provide it. Whitner has only two interceptions in his career.
If Whitner loses the starting gig, he won’t be moving back to nickel corner. He’ll be a utility man at both safety spots.
No matter how valuable Whitner’s versatility is, that would be a disappointing role for a player drafted so highly.