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49ers sign Antoine Bethea to four-year deal


San Francisco will swap departed safety Donte Whitner for a slightly less expensive alternative.

Shortly after Whitner signed with the Browns for $7 million a year, the 49ers have signed safety Antoine Bethea to a four-year contract that’s worth between $5 million and $6 million a year, according to several reports.

“Indy it’s been real,” Bethea wrote on Twitter. “Fans and city showed me nothing but love my eight years there and greeted me w/ open arms Appreciate all the support! Glad to be a Niner!! Going to the Bay!”

The 29-year-old Bethea has spent his entire eight-year NFL career in Indianapolis and has started all 16 games for six consecutive seasons. Bethea is the No. 39 player in our Free Agent Hot 100.

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37 Responses to “49ers sign Antoine Bethea to four-year deal”
  1. donnymacjack says: Mar 11, 2014 6:39 PM

    Welcome to the real Black and Blue division. Be ready to lose a few front teeth.

  2. thepftpoet says: Mar 11, 2014 6:41 PM

    This is a downgrade from Donte Whitner.

  3. dstep24 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:41 PM

    THERE’s the missing piece, Niners. LOL

  4. magicmtndan says: Mar 11, 2014 6:42 PM

    And moments after agreeing to the deal Bethea said he would follow Niners tradition and change his name to “NotHitner”

  5. gloryfromheaven46 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:43 PM

    Broncos signed Ward for $5.5 Million a year, that’s a steal!

  6. braceyourselffor12 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:43 PM

    Hopefully we can draft someone able to cover the passing game. Still shaking my head about the Gabbert trade, could have got him when he got cut.

  7. rainmaker1982 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:45 PM

    He’s better in coverage than the overpaid Whitner.

  8. Six Rings says: Mar 11, 2014 6:45 PM

    Over the hill, just like San Fran.

  9. nfl4days says: Mar 11, 2014 6:48 PM

    Niners need to draft a burner who can stretch the field.

  10. andreboy1 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:52 PM

    slighty better version of Whitner for less money

  11. jacobk621 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:55 PM

    How can this be ?? Gabbert makes more money in 2014 than starting qb Kapernick !!

  12. kingokra says: Mar 11, 2014 6:57 PM

    Looking at today’s whiner news, I think they’re hitting the hippie lettuce a little too hard. Put the hookah down and step away, Balke.

  13. fatguystrangler says: Mar 11, 2014 7:03 PM

    Bethea was a stalwart on the Indy defense for years. I’m going to miss him on the Colts. As a late round pick, he made himself a very good career.

  14. theclink12 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:04 PM

    49ers fans are crowing on their message boards about Bethea being good in pass coverage.

    LOL @ that.

    Ummm….no he isn’t, 9ers fans.

  15. goldrush36 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:08 PM

    We Supposedly downgraded letting Goldson walk too. Except a rookie was better his first year than Dashon was in any of his 7. Ijs

  16. rg3sus says: Mar 11, 2014 7:11 PM

    I don’t like this swap. Money was close between the two players and I personally believe Whittner is a far better player. Not a niners or browns fan but that’s my opinion.

  17. mrheavyhustle says: Mar 11, 2014 7:11 PM

    I hope my Niners have some plans to draft a DB in the 1st or 2nd round. That can cover and at the same time come down hill and hit. Or Beast Mode going to feast on this secondary. Whitner loved contact and the only thing Eric Reid can tackle is his own teammates. I agree needed to upgrade on coverage skills but have to tackle also.

  18. billbraskyisasonofabitch says: Mar 11, 2014 7:12 PM

    Ummm….yes he is

  19. baytownbombers says: Mar 11, 2014 7:12 PM

    Seattle fans = little Brother.

  20. ubepunkedagain says: Mar 11, 2014 7:12 PM

    Has anyone noticed how pathetic the Colts D has been for years? He was part of it for 8 of them, poor guy was never a part of a good D. This is the equivalent of the Ravens signing Michelle Huff last year, underwhelming. They should have held onto Whitner.

  21. rainponcho87 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:13 PM

    wonder if any of that is guaranteed. What if they draft a safety and he shines in training camp. Is Bethea gone then?

  22. sportfanz says: Mar 11, 2014 7:13 PM

    Niners continue to knock on the door. This is a good pick-up. I’m sure they will be drafting a safety. Keep hating Haters…if you know football you know the Niners are the only team capable of taking the current champs down. Niners are not perfect but they are doing a lot of things right!

  23. croghan1919 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:17 PM

    Solid player, sorry to see him go.

  24. rally411 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:18 PM

    Please don’t mention that he has more tackles than any DB in the league during his career, that he’s better in coverage and will probably step up because he’s going to a much better defense. That might be pertinent.

    And hey, you’re only four hours behind in reporting substantial NFL news since it is, you know, substantial NFL news. What a joke.

  25. terripet says: Mar 11, 2014 7:21 PM

    This guy is overated he cant pass defend to save his life.

  26. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 11, 2014 7:35 PM

    Holes are forming all over that defense and it’s only gonna get worse if Kaep gets 18-20 million. The window to win a SB with this team is slamming shut…watch your fingers Baalke!

  27. mrjackson206 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:37 PM

    We will turn him into all All Pro now just like we did with Whitner, Goldson, Rogers, Bowman, Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, etc.

  28. fasteddy415 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:48 PM

    I don’t get it. Professional Analysts who know football say this is a great signing and a suitable replacement but the wanna be arm chair QB’s/GM’s and Haters say this an awful signing and a down grade. The very same things said about Gholdson.

    Who to believe? I’m confused…

  29. bert1913 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:52 PM

    welcome to the santa clara 49ers

  30. 4949empire says: Mar 11, 2014 8:06 PM

    funny how the seatrolls are always so worried about what the niners are doing, shouldnt they be on the post about tate leaving and trying to justify that its all ok? hilarious

  31. drock36 says: Mar 11, 2014 8:21 PM

    Nice photo of Bethea dropping an interception. Based on how close he was, he is now considered the 49ers top DB.

  32. sisqsage says: Mar 11, 2014 8:54 PM

    Whitner improved a lot in his time in SF, but wasn’t worth 7 mil per annum. When he first came here his ball skills were terrible. But he could always hit. D-Coordinator Fangio and the DB coach helped him improve a lot in three years. Bethea is very similar and cheaper, so there won’t be much difference on the field. He came cheaper, that’s why it worked out this way. Fangio and his defensive staff will get any player to play his best. That’s the constant. Niners’ D will be stout as long as Fangio is around.

  33. wininer says: Mar 11, 2014 9:40 PM

    Niners essentially signed a mirror of Whitner, but for 2+ million less a season.

  34. xli2006 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:43 PM

    Bethea has been a rock in Indy for years. Possibly the most underrated safety in the league.

    While I hate to see him go he was deserving of a solid payday and the Colts had to prioritize. Bethea still has some years left, but he is racking up some miles as well.

    A smart move for both teams here. Niners get a very formidable safety and the Colts can use the money elsewhere in what appears to be a very active offseason for them w/ nearly 40 million in cap space.

  35. sfsugator says: Mar 11, 2014 9:45 PM

    A Super Bowl champion and a staple on the colts D for 8 years will miss him but he’s better than whitner for sure.

  36. wayneflores says: Mar 11, 2014 10:41 PM

    Good signing by 49ers, exactly what the other team across the bay needed to do, hut the Raiders McKenzie only has speed dial set up for I-R talent.

  37. scott112115 says: Mar 12, 2014 10:55 PM

    I would have to say it was a tough call but I would say Whitner and Bethea cancel each other out it comes out equal either way. Bethea can hit but he cant really tackle

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