Donte Whitner explains 49ers' exit

In a podcast interview with ESPN’s John Clayton, Donte Whitner explained his departure from the San Francisco 49ers this offseason.

The hard-hitting safety signed with his hometown Cleveland Browns in the first few minutes of free agency on March 11. Whitner signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Browns. The 49ers countered by signing Indianapolis safety Antoine Bethea to a four-year $22 million deal.

In the interview with Clayton, Whitner said the Browns offered him “$8-10 million” more than the 49ers did over the course of the deal. He also indicated there was some “tricky language” in the 49ers’ offer. He said he didn’t feel like the 49ers were offering Whitner his “true value” based on what he brought the team.

Overall, though, Whitner didn’t appear to be bitter. He said he enjoyed his time with the 49ers and he appreciated being part of a team that went to the NFC Championship Game in each of his three seasons in San Francisco.