The Cleveland Browns are continuing to clean house. A couple of weeks after they released veteran inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, the team has released another defensive starter in strong safety Donte Whitner. The defensive back confirmed the move himself Saturday evening, chalking the move up to the team's "moneyball" strategy.
Cleveland I'm gone!— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) April 2, 2016
love you Cleveland. My plan is in a different place. Their playing MONEYBALL now! Be blessed!— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) April 3, 2016
Whitner was under contract through 2017, and was set to have cap figures of $8.45 million in 2016 and $8.55 million in 2017. The Browns will still owe him $4.5 million in dead money by releasing him, totaling a savings of $3.95 million off the cap for 2016. Unlike what the team did with Dansby, though, Whitner wasn't as appreciative of getting his walking papers right before offseason programs are about to begin:
I just wish they had common courtesy and would've done it weeks ago when free agency was going on... #25thHour... But I'll bounce back!— DonteHitner (@DonteWhitner) April 3, 2016
As it stands right now, the Browns' safety candidates include Jordan Poyer, Ibraheim Campbell, and Rahim Moore. It's not the most high-profile unit, which might lead some to believe that the team could be thinking about DB Jalen Ramsey with the second overall pick of the draft.
Earlier in the day, the team waived CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, another surprising move in the defensive backfield.