The Cleveland Browns continued their housecleaning over the weekend, releasing veteran safety Donte Whitner. That, of course, meant the "should the Giants sign Whitner?" questions began rolling in. So, let's address that.
The answer from this vantage is simple. No, Whitner is not the right guy to play next to Landon Collins.
Sure, Whitner is a three-time Pro Bowler. Sure, he's been durable, having missed only 14 regular-season games in a 10-year career. Sure, there is nervousness and uncertainty with the Giants once again seeming ready to give a trio of young, unproven safeties a chance to compete for the spot next to Collins. Sure, Whitner would bring experience and leadership that, on paper, it appears the Giants need.
Here, though, is why Whitner is not the answer for the Giants at safety. Whitner and Collins are essentially the same player. They would duplicate, rather than complement, each other.
Coming out of Alabama, some pre-NFL draft scouting reports on Collins cited Whitner as his playing comparison. Whitner is a strong safety, a guy known for his run support and his hitting, not for his range or coverage skills. With the Browns, Whitner was the box safety and Tashaun Gipson was the center fielder.
The ideal partner for Collins at the back end of the Giants' defense is someone with range and speed, someone with the ability cover ground and make plays as a center fielder to allow Collins to do what he does best while playing closer to the line of scrimmage.
For a fan base still hoping to see the Giants add a veteran safety, Whitner offers name recognition and an enticing resume. He does not offer the skill set the Giants need to pair with Collins.