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Redskins sign safeties Donte Whitner, Josh Evans, put David Bruton Jr. on IR

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins' struggling defense hopes it has found some answers at safety -- or at least some solid help after signing veteran Donte Whitner shortly after adding another free agent at the position, Josh Evans.

Both players were on the field Wednesday for the Redskins. Whitner, a three-time Pro Bowler, is the headliner because of his reputation. He was the No. 8 pick by Buffalo in the 2006 draft before signing with San Francisco in 2011.

He spent the past two years with Cleveland, but he was released by the Browns in April -- something that still doesn't sit well with Whitner.

"The way they released me and waited so long to do it, someone had a personal vendetta," Whitner said. "I don't know who it was."

He added that the Cleveland slight will add fuel to his fire.

"I always played the game with a chip on my shoulder, but it adds to it," Whitner said. "To get slapped in the face with a release like that on the last day of free agency before you report to offseason training, it's a slap in the face. If I was sleepwalking or anything before, I'm definitely woke now and ready to play the game."

Whitner was not in any team's camp this summer, though he did have workouts with other teams. Whitner recently had tweeted that both Carolina and Los Angeles offered him a contract. He reiterated those claims Wednesday, saying he turned down a multiyear deal with the Rams because he wanted a one-year deal to prove himself. Whitner also said he worked out for the Giants on Sunday.

The Redskins needed more safety help, as their starters entering the season both are now on injured reserve. David Bruton Jr. was placed on injured reserve Wednesday after suffering a concussion in Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Browns.

On Tuesday, a source said the Redskins wouldn't be signing Whitner, but because of Bruton's situation, they needed additional help at defensive back.

A week earlier, safety DeAngelo Hall had suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his knee.

The Redskins also have a converted cornerback, Will Blackmon, starting at safety, plus Duke Ihenacho and Deshazor Everett.

The Redskins need Whitner to provide leadership and hitting skills. He is known for his physical style, and the Redskins' defense has missed too many tackles -- the past two games in particular. They've allowed a combined 248 yards after contact the past two games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Evans was a sixth-round pick by Jacksonville in 2013, but he was released by the Jaguars in their final cuts. He worked out for Washington last week.

The Redskins also released defensive end Kendall Reyes earlier in the day.