It’s only natural as fans to become attached to “our” players. Guys that are drafted or play multiple years for the San Francisco 49ers organization automatically become fan favorites. As fans we often overlook the overall talent of certain players just because they’re on “our” team.
Donte Whitner isn’t one to overlook though. He’s a game changer (good and sometimes bad) with his ability to drop timely hits. He’s a sure tackler and his coverage ability improved last season. And to say the least, he’s an extremely talented strong safety in the NFL. That being said, just how important is he to the 49ers?
A precedent was set with the San Francisco 49ers organization in regards to the safety position. Last season Dashon Goldson, a talented, hard hitting, and fan favorite, free safety was not resigned by the 49ers. Goldson, a two time Pro Bowl player, signed a lucrative deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 off season. As a result, the 49ers drafted safety Eric Reid with 18th overall pick in the 2013 Draft and plugged him into the starting lineup immediately.
Reid certainly didn’t do Donte Whitner any favors. He made Dashon Goldson appear very replaceable. But, this is a different year and a different team. And part of the reason for Reid’s success was the tutelage from Whitner.
Like Goldson, Whitner has taken to Twitter and reached out to 49ers fans to validate his worth. It’s a task that obviously didn’t serve it’s purpose for Goldson. But Goldson did get the money he was seeking. I believe Donte Whitner serves a different purpose entering free agency. There appears to be more of awillingness to negotiate on his behalf in order to stay with the 49ers. Maybe it’s the restructuring of Craig Dahl’s contract, but I believe Donte Whitner stays with the 49ers. I think the two sides will come together and bring Whitner back and maintain stability at the safety position for the 49ers. And believe you me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.