The Browns have replaced SS T.J. Ward with a local kid, SS Donte Whitner, as one of their first big free agent signings.

Plenty of names were connected to the Cleveland Browns early on the first day of free agency, but the first big name to ink a contract with the team is SS Donte Whitner. The rumors surrounding Whitner began on Monday and continued to heat up Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer reported that Whitner would sign a contract with his hometown team shortly after 4:00 PM ET, which is when free agency officially started.