It was too good to be true however, as he eventually backed out of the agreement, and signed a more lucrative deal with the 49ers. The new deal was reportedly a 3-year, $11.75 million deal with $4 million guaranteed, so it’s hard to fault him for taking a longer contract with more guaranteed money.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with Whitner this week at media day, and got the full story on what exactly transpired that day:
It was a little miscommunication and me changing my mind. I knew that I had both teams, the Bengals and 49ers, and it was kind of a money issue for a minute and then I talked to Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and he wanted me to come there and help lead this team. My agent actually represents a lot of players on this defense from Aldon (Smith), Jason (Smith) and Patrick (Willis). He felt it would be a good fit and we had the chance to do some special things. I had to make the call and I made it to San Francisco. It was more of a fit of scheme and the guys that I really wanted to play with and the guys who would be a good, solid defense.
Whitner made his first Pro Bowl this season, and has been a fixture on a 49ers defense that has been among the NFL’s best over the last two seasons. He has three interceptions the last two seasons, with 15 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
The former first-round pick from Ohio State was however a disappointment in his five seasons with the Buffalo Bills, where he notched five interceptions, 19 pass breakups, 11.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one recovery.
While its unfortunate he didn’t land in Cincinnati, it is nice to see he was finally able to live up to his poetical, and now has a chance to live out his dream of winning a Super Bowl ring Sunday.