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Report: Donte Whitner to the Browns likely

Hometown is Cleveland. Aaron Wilson

Print This March 11, 2014, 05:13 PM EST

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The Cleveland Browns are taking steps to ensure they have one of the better defenses in 2014.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, safety Donte Whitner is expecting to sign with the Browns once free agency starts at 4 p.m.

Whitner would replace T.J. Ward, who is expected to leave and sign with another team.

For Whitner, it would be a homecoming to the town he grew up in. He also played college football at nearby Ohio State.

Whitner started all 16 regular season games for the 49ers a year ago and was someone San Francisco hoped to re-sign.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

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