NFL Rumors: Donte Whitner Could Be Joining Carolina Panthers Roster

At this point in the year, veteran NFL players are waiting by the phone to see if they can find a job before the regular season starts. According to NBC Sports, the Carolina Panthers are taking a look at Donte Whitner. The veteran defensive back can help provide guidance for a young secondary.

Back in April, the Cleveland Browns announced that they were releasing Donte Whitner. Many in the NFL were upset with the franchise because they felt that the franchise could have done it much sooner so that Whitner could try to sign with another team in free agency.

It is now near the end of August, and Donte Whitner has yet to find a new home in the NFL. Since he has a lot of experience, the belief is that a franchise will come calling if they are struggling to find the right players to fill out the roster before the regular season starts.

A couple of weeks ago, Donte Whitner met with the Los Angeles Rams, a franchise that is looking for more experience in their defensive backfield. While the Rams like what Whitner had to offer, management simply was not comfortable with meeting his asking price.

The Carolina Panthers lost their star cornerback when Josh Norman decided to sign with the Washington Redskins, as reported by ESPN. Management was willing to let him walk away because they felt that the salary cap space would have been better utilized by building up the rest of the roster.

Without Josh Norman around, the Carolina Panthers are planning to start two rookies at the cornerback positions. West Virginia star Daryl Worley was chosen in the third round. Samford star James Bradberry was chosen in the second round. With that much of an investment, the two of them are scheduled to start.

Kurt Coleman [Photo by Kevin C Cox/Getty Images]
When you have that much youth at the cornerback positions, it is best to have safeties that have seen all sorts of coverage schemes in the NFL. Donte Whitner has been in the league for a decade, so there are very few things that will come as a surprise to him.

If signed by the Carolina Panthers, Donte Whitner will have a familiar face in the locker room. He attended Glenville High School with wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. While it might not seem like a big deal to outsiders, it is nice for NFL players to have someone familiar in the locker room.

Donte Whitner will need to compete with Tre Boston for a starting safety spot. Boston moved into a starting role when Roman Harper was allowed to walk away in free agency and Kurt Coleman was moved from free safety to strong safety.

Tre Boston [Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]
At just 24, Tre Boston still has some developing to do. However, he has shown a good amount of confidence on the field. Boston even has some of that attitude that enabled Josh Norman to intimidate opposing players in the NFL.

There is also the chance that Donte Whitner could accept a reduced role, so that he can try to get to the Super Bowl with the Carolina Panthers. The latest trend in the NFL is a rover position on defense, where the player is a hybrid of a linebacker and a safety. If Whitner is willing to accept that role, then he increases his chances of making the roster.

Donte Whitner wants to stay in the NFL. He is exploring all of his available options. The Carolina Panthers are simply the latest team to kick the tires.

[Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]

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