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Bye, bye, Donte. Who's next at Safety?

by npetersk
Mar 11, 2014 3:21 PM EDT



Early reports from Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer have Donte Whitner signing a long-term deal with his hometown team, the Cleveland Browns, in the early stages of free agency. Whitner was up-and-down in his 49er career, but performed really well last season, and is cashing in now.

The Niners, since 2010, have had a stance of signing their own talent before free agency, or letting said talent walk and replacing it in house. The Niners have Craig Dahl on board for another season, but he's nothing more than a special-teamer and backup. There are a few free agents, such as Mike Mitchell, Steve Gregory, and even Ryan Clark could be fits next to Eric Reid, and may be had for cheap.

However, flush with draft picks yet again, GM Trent Baalke is much more likely to spend an early round pick on Calvin Pryor, Deone Bucannon, or Jimmie Ward than shell out guaranteed money to a veteran. If you could add one draft eligible or free agent safety to the Niners now that Whitner is gone, who would it be?