Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby made some interesting comments during a Wednesday interview.
Dansby, who spent the previous two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, was released earlier this offseason after a productive stint with Cincy's in-state rival. He later signed with the Bengals this offseason, but he may not be the only former Brown journeying to the Queen City.
While talking with Alex Marvez on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Dansby revealed that he's been recruiting free agent safety Donte Whitner to join him in their pursuit of a Super Bowl with the Bengals. Dansby also talked about how he came close to signing with Cincinnati back when he was a free agent in 2013, but ultimately signed with the Arizona Cardinals that season.
Dansby also took some not-so-subtle jabs at some of his former Browns teammates, though it's hard to imagine Whitner was one of them.
Whitner, a former Ohio State Buckeyes star, was once considered one of the best safeties in the NFL after becoming the eighth-overall pick by Buffalo in 2006. Since then, Whitner has amassed 856 tackles, 53 pass deflections, 11 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles in 10 NFL seasons (146 games played).
At 30-years-old (and turning 31 in July), there's a decent chance Whitner is unable to find much more than a short contract worth less than what he made with the Browns last year ($4.5 million). Still, Whitner has been consistently productive in the NFL, so he should be able to command a nice one-year deal if he goes to the highest bidder.
However, Whitner is probably more willing to sign with a Super Bowl contender like the Bengals than a fringe playoff team. But the truth is, nearly every playoff contender is pretty tight against their cap.
That's not completely true of the Bengals, however. Per Over The Cap, Cincinnati has around $13 million in cap space for the time being. If Whitner is willing to sign for $1-2 million, perhaps the Bengals would sign him to be the third safety in Cincinnati's defense.
The value of that role was shown last year when Shawn Williams was essentially a starter as the third safety due to injuries at the position. It's hard to imagine the Bengals coaches feel comfortable with Floyd Raven, Taylor Mays, Clayton Fejedelem and Derron Smith as the only options at safety behind Williams and George Iloka after Reggie Nelson left this offseason.
If the Bengals are trying to increase their depth at safety, bringing in a quality veteran like Whitner could be exactly what the team is looking for.