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Donte Whitner “coming home” to Cleveland for $7 million a year

Donte Whitner AP

Donte Whitner is leaving San Francisco to play in his hometown of Cleveland, and he’ll be well paid by the Browns.

A league source tells PFT that Whitner’s contract will pay him $7 million a year.

Whitner had been pursued by several teams, but he told cleveland.com that the Browns could offer him something no other team could: A chance to play where he grew up, and where his family still lives.

I’m coming home,” Whitner said. “It’s a dream come true. Everyone dreams about playing for their hometown team and now I have that chance.”

The Browns have gone either 4-12 or 5-11 for six straight seasons, but Whitner believes things are going to change.

“I want to come back to Cleveland and help turn the team and the city around,” Whitner said. “In San Francisco, I went to the NFC Championship game once and to the Super Bowl. I know what it takes to win, and I know what it takes to prepare to win. I can share that with my teammates. We need to instill the culture of winning.”

That will be a tall order, but Whitner is excited about the opportunity.

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66 Responses to “Donte Whitner “coming home” to Cleveland for $7 million a year”
  1. intelligent cement says: Mar 11, 2014 5:56 PM

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to ask your family to move?

  2. andreboy1 says: Mar 11, 2014 5:56 PM

    never to be heard from again

  3. thegonz13 says: Mar 11, 2014 5:57 PM

    Congratulations!

    Hope you enjoyed playing on a winning team though. Might be a while before you see the playoffs with your hometown team.

  4. dobreshunka says: Mar 11, 2014 5:57 PM

    That’s what they all say, Donte. You’ll see.

  5. randomcommenter says: Mar 11, 2014 5:58 PM

    He wanted to drop the W in his name and be Hitner. Now that he’s in Cleveland he should change the W to S. He’ll fit right in.

  6. logicalvoicesays says: Mar 11, 2014 5:58 PM

    How does it feel to watch a Superstar like RGIII and know you blew it Cleveland? These other postions mean NOTHING without the QB to lead you to glory. #FactoryofSadness

  7. nviverson says: Mar 11, 2014 5:58 PM

    I love it!!! Welcome home, Donte!! Now play well in place of T.J.

  8. easymoneyjr says: Mar 11, 2014 5:58 PM

    Que all the Niners fans saying they don’t need him and that they’ll be better off with out him…

    Go Hawks! #NFCWESTCHAMPS #NFCCHAMPS #SUPERBOWLCHAMPS

  9. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 11, 2014 5:58 PM

    He’s on a better team now.

  10. hawkfan72 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:00 PM

    He’s only leaving so that he can change his name to Hitner without having to pay for all the 49ers Whitner jerseys.

  11. Big Ant TV says: Mar 11, 2014 6:00 PM

    I miss tj ward already

  12. allhailkingflacco says: Mar 11, 2014 6:00 PM

    I just hope he sticks with the name change. I own most of the domain names and now he’ll be able to afford my asking price, for sure. :)

    #hitner31

  13. longbomb10 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:01 PM

    Whitner is a penalty waiting to happen and can’t cover but solid in the box. They need a QB in Cle to make any noise. Solid start to the off season with him and Dansby coming. Get Revis and they can be a playoff team.

  14. purplepanteez says: Mar 11, 2014 6:01 PM

    Traded $$$ for rings.

    Could have done the same thing by coming to my Vikes. No better home for free agents!

    You swung and missed Donte! Arg.

  15. rainmaker1982 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:01 PM

    Making 7 million a year for being a one dimensional safety is a “dream come true”.

  16. Six Rings says: Mar 11, 2014 6:02 PM

    Wow. Lombardi is beginning to look good.

  17. ajgreenhof says: Mar 11, 2014 6:02 PM

    Money or Superbowl ring?

  18. bennyb82 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:02 PM

    Soon, this Cleveland defense might make it possible to win even with Weeden at qb.

  19. bert1913 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:03 PM

    A player’s real dream is to win a superbowl. since the santa Clara 49ers aren’t going to do that anytime soon, might as well get paid

  20. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 11, 2014 6:04 PM

    High cost risky moves by the Browns today, have to agree with Shaun King questioning that these 2 players were the best to target if you are going to spend a lot of money so quickly like this. Decent players but not worth these salaries, and due to age they don’t have likely to be appealing exit strategies later on either.

  21. ravensterps says: Mar 11, 2014 6:05 PM

    hahahahahahahaha no, no, seriously? 7mil a YEAR!? hahahah

  22. fumblenuts says: Mar 11, 2014 6:05 PM

    “I’m coming home,” Whitner said. “It’s a dream come true.

    Probably happy not to be a forty whiner anymore…..

  23. nowillrepeat says: Mar 11, 2014 6:06 PM

    A lot of money for an aging player.
    Cleveland should draft Manziel, but they probably won’t.

  24. touchdown12seahawks says: Mar 11, 2014 6:06 PM

    I remember when Joe Jurevicius left Seattle to go there right after XL…
    You should have asked Joe how that turned out!

  25. pgilbert2013 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:06 PM

    We’ll miss you Hittner! Good luck in C-town.

  26. i, flounder says: Mar 11, 2014 6:10 PM

    horrible personality. can’t cover. doesn’t wrap. but he’s good because he makes one illegal hit a game that looks like it hurts.

  27. dws123 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:13 PM

    I like TJ Ward, but Whitner is an exponential upgrade at just $1.5M/yr more than what TJ got paid in Denver. Worth it.

  28. redandgoldhitman52 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:14 PM

    $7 mil per year?!?! WOW!! who’s running the cleveland browns…Terrell Owens?

  29. jagsfan1 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:14 PM

    Haslam certainly spending a lot of his fraudulent refund money…hoping to make a splash. It won’t work.

  30. udontknowjaq says: Mar 11, 2014 6:16 PM

    Keep the W in your name cause the Browns will not get you any.

  31. pioniere says: Mar 11, 2014 6:17 PM

    It’s no accident the 9ers let you leave Twitner. You couldn’t cover anyone with a blanket.

  32. thenewguy12 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:19 PM

    Whitner is a good safety but not $7 million per year good. Too one dimensional, if you keep him up in the box most of the time, he will do fine but if you have to drop him back into coverage, might as well cover your eyes, it likely wont be pretty.

  33. faepernick says: Mar 11, 2014 6:19 PM

    Leaves a perennial Super Bowl contender for one of the worst teams in the league, all over half a million – the difference between his contract and Bethea.

    Whitner was a product of the system in SF, he will get exposed for what he really is.

  34. ballerstatus2014 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:23 PM

    This is a great signing! Hopefully the Revis rumors are true and we get him, as well as Decker. Wishful, I know.

  35. lbcoach34 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:28 PM

    Best wishes to TJ Ward – good fit

    Welcome Donte Hitner – great fit

    I would fire my agent is I were Jarius Byrd

  36. axespray says: Mar 11, 2014 6:28 PM

    I’d have gone with the younger guy in Ward.
    Whitner had an awesome front seven to hide behind… (example; Dashon who? from last year)

  37. johnnybandwagon says: Mar 11, 2014 6:30 PM

    Now departing off the Whiner wagon……
    It’s starting.
    The windows are closing, the faithful will soon follow.

  38. ubepunkedagain says: Mar 11, 2014 6:32 PM

    Whitner is an upgrade from Ward and a better all around safety at only a year older. Ward was part of a D that routinely collapsed in the 4th last year.

  39. jeremy2020 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:33 PM

    Donte might have to make a play now. Can’t just jump on the pile and think about how awesome he is..

  40. chawkup says: Mar 11, 2014 6:35 PM

    Damn. If Whitner got $7M to leave a winning team and go to a horrible one, I’m scared to see what Earl Thomas might get.

  41. blmonroe12 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:35 PM

    Welcome home bro, we need you.

  42. magicmtndan says: Mar 11, 2014 6:36 PM

    His $7 million makes Troy’s money look like the steal of the century.

    I feel sorry for the Browns fans. They not only endure losing seasons now they’ll see how much more they cost the team.

  43. kev86 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:36 PM

    Good sign by Cleveland. Nice day for Browns. Good luck from NYG fan here.

  44. coltzfan166 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:37 PM

    Gotta admit, I’m impressed by Ray Farmer so far.

  45. restorativejusticeprogram says: Mar 11, 2014 6:37 PM

    Ha Ha Cleveland: This guy is terribad.

  46. browns627 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:39 PM

    donte’s tweets are exactly what browns fans need to hear!!! welcome home!

  47. jrebar88 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:45 PM

    LMAO no “hometown discount” huh? Broncos stole Ward for 4 years & 23 million. Elway proving why he is the best. 20+ million QB and tons of cap room to keep adding playmakers.

  48. donnymacjack says: Mar 11, 2014 6:46 PM

    Well at least you won’t have to worry about getting ran over by Beast Mode 3 times a year now….

  49. browns627 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:47 PM

    ward is one dimensional. pro bowler because someone got hurt. tj is a little above average not worth 23 mill

  50. borisbulldog says: Mar 11, 2014 6:51 PM

    All you whiners, come back here next Jan when Whitner goes to his 3rd straight Pro Bowl!

  51. brownsmakemecrazy says: Mar 11, 2014 6:57 PM

    Love the Dansby signing, but this signing makes no sense. Whitner blows. And $7 million per, wow can you say stupid signing and overpaying him? Smh same old Browns

  52. themagicman1223 says: Mar 11, 2014 6:58 PM

    Even Weeden is a better QB than Kaep.

  53. goldrush36 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:06 PM

    I wish him well but intuition tells me that he may be a product of the system like Goldson. Solid player but I don’t see any all pro and pro bowl awards coming his way. My question is whether Bathea can regain his pro bowl form. Seems the system will give him every chance to do so. Good luck Donte you were a great teammate and a good enforcer in SF

  54. baytownbombers says: Mar 11, 2014 7:15 PM

    Seattle fans = little brother

  55. DicksSportingWoods says: Mar 11, 2014 7:18 PM

    $7M isn’t that much at that position, especially in today’s NFL when you can cut a guy after a couple years with minimal impact to the cap. Doesn’t Revis make like $16M.

  56. lurch61 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:21 PM

    ” but he told cleveland.com that the Browns could offer him something no other team could: A chance to play where he grew up, and where his family still lives.”
    and play for a perennial loser, now that he has experienced a winning culture!

  57. pascalswager42 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:25 PM

    You have to overpay to get them to Cleveland. Anyone remember Andre Rison?

    They also wanted leadership in the locker room after DQ, TJ and last year PhillyD left the team.

    Get two solid years out of each and I’ll consider the signings a success.

  58. goldrush36 says: Mar 11, 2014 7:28 PM

    Umm Whitner only even made the pro bowl because he was on a superbowl contending team. So good luck with that. Don’t believe us about his coverage skills? Pop in the superbowl tape and watch what you just paid for…

  59. tictoccpthook says: Mar 11, 2014 7:34 PM

    The Browns have had talent for years now, but they manage to squander it year after year. Good luck Whitner.

  60. eddiek77 says: Mar 11, 2014 8:00 PM

    I’m a Steelers fan but have to admit, I like what the Browns are doing.

  61. 4verts says: Mar 11, 2014 8:11 PM

    Maybe he should change his name to Donte Whiffner because that’s what he used to do with the niners all the time.

  62. hess97 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:38 PM

    Great work in SF, Donte. You’ll be missed. The hit on Pierre Thomas in the playoffs was was just as much the game winner as the Vernon Davis TD. Legendary play!

  63. hess97 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:41 PM

    Hopefully the league won’t keep erroneously penalizing you, now that you are not playing for their most screwed-over team.

  64. blabidibla says: Mar 11, 2014 11:57 PM

    Thanks Donte. You will be missed.

  65. siggtacular says: Mar 12, 2014 1:41 AM

    Get used to looking at the back of Torrey Smith’s jersey.

    Two-time World Champion Baltimore Ravens

    Joe Flacco Super Bowl XLVII MVP

  66. scott112115 says: Mar 12, 2014 10:48 PM

    Donte Whitner isnt going to solve all of Clevelands problems. He isnt no Charles Woodson or Troy Polamalu. LETS GO 49ers. BROWNS STILL SUCK

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