NFL safety Donte Whitner has had a decorated career, spanning a decade, a few teams, and a Super Bowl appearance. Tuesday, the guy who once called himself “Hitner” broke the hearts of San Francisco 49ers fans everywhere by leaving the club.
To make matters worse, his next move is like something out of a children’s movie. Whitner, apparently homesick,, signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns that will have the rabid Dawg Pound barking for the next four years as Whitner gets paid $7 million per season over the contract’s life. As the 28-year-old strong safety told cleveland.com on Tuesday, “I’m coming home.”
Whitner, a Cleveland-area native, graduated from Glenville High School in the spring of 2003 before spending a three-year run as a strong safety for Ohio State’s football team. Following Whitner’s junior season in 2005, the then-20-year-old prospect declared for the NFL Draft a year ahead of schedule, being selected by the Buffalo Bills with the eighth overall selection.
Whitner, who spent the last several seasons as a member of the 49ers, is expected to fill the void left by safety T.J. Ward, who signed with the Denver Broncos earlier Tuesday at the start of free-agency. In San Francisco, Whitner guided the 49ers to the 2012 NFC title and a berth in Super Bowl XLVII. The traitor couldn’t be happier with coming to the Browns. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’m very excited. It’s a very surreal feeling. It’s a dream come true. Everyone dreams about playing for their hometown team and now I have that chance.”
He also said he wants to revitalize the City of Cleveland. Can’t really fault him for that, seeing as how the city is replete with run-down communities, corruption, and crime. Whitner continued:
“ 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.”
Excuse me, but the Cleveland Indians have already instilled the culture of winning. Guess Benedict Whitner didn’t see the Tribe pick up 92 wins last year en route to the American League Wild Card Playoff Game.
As if this story couldn’t get any worse, Whitner is going to try to set a positive example for the kids of Cleveland. The youth already have one: Yan Gomes. Whitner’s mission statement:
“I want them to know they can be successful. I feel it’s my responsibility to help make Cleveland a place that people want to live and be proud of.”
Yeah, that responsibility goes to the Cleveland Police Department, traitor. People don’t need a football player delivering an After-School Special-esque lecture. All that statement needed was cheesy orchestral music, and then you’d have the moral of the story.
This is the worst day of my life as a 49ers fan. I used to like Donte Whitner. I now resent that rat. The 49ers are a contender and Whitner’s still going home. What a baby.