'Tis the season. No, not the one where you hang stockings and tinsel--the one where NFL free agency rumors run rampant and any player can land with a number of different franchises. One of this year's deepest position groups entering the free market is at safety and there is one that is near and dear to the residents of the great state of Ohio.
Donte Whitner a former first round pick who last played for the San Francisco 49ers is set to hit free agency. The former Ohio State Buckeye standout has flirted with the prospect of coming back to the state (especially in the summer of 2011 when he was a Bengal for three minutes) and it appears as if that may come true this season. Per a report from Dustin Fox at The Browns Radio Network, Whitner could be going to Cleveland.
Based on a source close to Donte Whitner, He is likely headed to the #Browns when the signing period begins.— Dustin Fox (@DustinFox37) March 10, 2014
We're not sure exactly what sources that Fox is leaning on, but he should have a pretty good pulse on all things Browns. One thing that both corroborates and calls his assumption into question is that Fox himself is an Ohio State grad. Does he truly have the inside scoop or is he just being hopeful about an Ohio reunion with Whitner.
We'll see, but if Whitner does land in Cleveland, that all but ensures that T.J. Ward will be leaving for greener (more money, get it?) pastures. A number of teams are said to be wanting Ward's services, including the Lions, Jets and Broncos.