Browns Cut Donte Whitner

In surprising fashion, the Cleveland Browns released strong safety Donte Whitner, marking the seventh starter to be cut or leave via free agency. Now after losing Tashuan Gipson, Cleveland must find two new safeties to fill the void. However, they did sign Rahim Moore to a one year deal and he will have a chance to earn the starting gig.

It seems like just yesterday when the Browns signed Whitner. Prior to the 2014 season, the organization was faced with a tough decision. T.J. Ward was a pending free agent and Cleveland gambled by letting him walk. Ward signed with the Denver Broncos and is now a Super Bowl Champion. Never mind that, at the time it seemed skeptical, but the Browns redeemed themselves by signing the Ohio native the same day Ward left.

In return, Cleveland was gaining a strong veteran presence who had four more years in the league and is only six months older than Ward.

During his reign here in Cleveland, the safety accumulated 187 tackles, nine passes defended, three forced fumbles, and an interception. The 30-year-old earned one Pro Bowl trip and was a tackling machine. In 2014, he led the team with 106 tackles and finished second last year with 81 tackles despite missing two games. Cleveland must now replace an enormous hole in the secondary.

The Browns still owe Whitner $4.5 million, but save $3.95 million of the 2016 cap. Although he is still getting paid, the safety wasn’t too happy about the timing of his release. He took to Twitter to vent his frustrations and vows to bounce back. I have no doubt Whitner will land a job before the season begins.

This transaction paired with the release of Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (2015 7th round pick) could signify that the Cleveland Browns have DB Jalen Ramsey in their cross hairs with the second overall pick in the upcoming draft.

-Max Gold

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