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October 6, 2013
Shutdown means Whitner stuck with 'W'; 49ers like QB Freeman

The government shutdown just got personal for Donte Whitner. The 49ers safety had wanted to be introduced for this evening's game against the Texans with his new name, "Hitner," stenciled across his back. He filed the paperwork to change his surname in his native Ohio last week.

But according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the government shutdown means name changes like that can't be processed. Which means Whitner is stuck with his "W" until the morass in Washington, D.C. is fixed. Here's a Tweet this morning from Whitner:

Meanwhile, the ever-tinkering 49ers reportedly touched base with two high-profile free agents in recent weeks. CBS' Jason LaCanfora reports they talked to former Raiders and Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour about joining the club but disagreed on compensation. The 49ers are short on nose tackles after Ian Williams' ankle was broken in Week 2.

They also are reportedly one of the teams that called about quarterback Josh Freeman. The 49ers have been eager to supplant Colt McCoy as the No. 2 quarterback and last week signed John Skelton to provide competition. Freeman, the ex-Buccaneers starter, however, has received interest from several teams. And, according to multiple reports, he is leaning toward the Raiders or Vikings, two teams on which he has a better chance to start.

A decision is expected to be made early in the week.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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