The San Francisco 49ers will need to replace safety Donte Whitner who is expected to sign with the Cleveland Browns in the coming hours.
Hearing Antoine Bethea is another possibility at safety for
Whitner was known for his hard-hitting mentality and it’s going to be difficult for San Francisco to find a replacement who’ll provide such a punch. Of course, the 49ers also have Eric Reid in their secondary who is emerging as quite the force, so the need for an intimidating force might not be as apparent if Reid wasn’t around.
Bethea is a better coverage safety that Whitner, especially on deep balls as the former 49ers often found himself burned on passes down field. He’s also a better tackler, something Whitner struggled with.
San Francisco could certainly do worse than a smart veteran who, while maybe not as physically gifted as Whitner, plays a smarter game and has no injury history.