49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

March 11, 2014
Safety dance: 49ers to replace Whitner with Bethea

bethea.jpg

The 49ers are replacing a steady presence at safety with perhaps an even steadier one. The team has agreed to a deal with long-time Colts free agent Antoine Bethea, who has started every game for Indianapolis since 2008. The deal is for four years for $21 million, according to a league source.

Bethea, 29, is a year older than Donte Whitner, who will sign a four-year deal with Cleveland reportedly worth $28 million over four years. Whitner averaged $4 million a year for the last three years. It was the second straight season the 49ers lost a starting safety to a big-money deal elsewhere. Dashon Goldson left for Tampa Bay last year on a five-year deal that averages more than $8 million a season.

While the 49ers replaced Goldson with a draft pick, Eric Reid, the 49ers wanted to pair Reid with a veteran. Like Whitner, Bethea (5-11, 205) is an eight-year veteran, and he promises to bring experience to what could be an otherwise very young 49ers secondary. A sixth-round pick out of Howard in 2006, Bethea started 13 games his rookie season and hasn't left the lineup since. He's averaged more than 100 tackles in each of the last four seasons. He made the Pro Bowl following the 2007 and 2009 seasons and was on the Colts' Super Bowl-winning 2006 squad.

One interesting note: While Goldson and Whitner were know for hard hits and personal-foul penalties, neither Bethea nor Reid -- the team's new safety tandem -- was penalized in 2013.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW 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.

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

Categories


March 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Monthly Archives


Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.

Name:
City:
 State:
E-mail:

49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words


Your IP Address has been recorded as 152.52.255.247 and will be included with this submission.