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Donte Whitner: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Free-Agent Safety

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Defensive back Donte Whitner #31 of the Cleveland Browns stands on the sidelines during warmups before a football game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won the game 30-13. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

The 2016 regular season is only a few weeks away, and NFL teams in need of last-minute additions to their secondary could start looking at free-agent safety Donte Whitner.

Continue for updates.


Whitner to Work Out with Panthers on Friday

Thursday, Aug. 25

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Carolina Panthers are bringing Whitner in for a workout.

Whitner is coming off a disappointing 2015 season. A Pro Bowler for three straight years between 2012 and 2014, he finished last year with 81 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks and zero interceptions. Pro Football Focus graded him as the 32nd-best safety (78.5) in the league.

It wasn't a major surprise when the Cleveland Browns released Whitner in the offseason, but the timing was inconvenient for the 31-year-old. Most teams had already addressed the safety position by the time he hit the open market.

NFL.com's Chris Trapasso isn't sold on Whitner signing with the Panthers but thinks Carolina's strong supporting cast could cover his flaws:

Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso

This *could* work out b/c Whitner is only decently effective behind a crazy good front 7, & #Panthers def have that https://t.co/jbv06zfgeV

At the least, Whitner could provide veteran leadership alongside Kurt Coleman. With Roman Harper gone, the Panthers are relying on two relatively inexperienced safeties, Tre Boston and Dean Marlowe, heading into the upcoming season.

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At this stage of the preseason, Whitner is likely the biggest upgrade Carolina will find on the free-agent market.

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