SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Safety Antoine Bethea has finalized his new $23 million, four-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers, becoming a key new presence in the secondary after Donte Whitner’s departure to the Cleveland Browns.
The team made the announcement Wednesday. Bethea announced Tuesday on Twitter he had joined the 49ers.
The 29-year-old Bethea had 110 tackles, two interceptions and a sack last season, his sixth straight year starting every game for the Indianapolis Colts.
San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke calls Bethea “a durable, experienced player who has competed at a high level throughout his career in the National Football League.”
A two-time Pro Bowler, Bethea was a sixth-round draft pick by the Colts out of Howard in 2006.
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with former Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings.
Jennings spent three years with the Packers. He made 16 starts last season, recording a career-high 68 tackles with one pass breakup, four tackles for loss, one sack and a fumble recovery.
The Bears announced the move on Wednesday.
CLEVELAND (AP) – The Browns have released quarterback Brandon Weeden.
A first-round pick in 2012, Weeden never panned out in Cleveland as the Browns went through a pair of coaching changes in his short time with the team. He made 20 starts, but lost his job early last season after he got hurt and Brian Hoyer came off the bench and led the Browns to two victories. Weeden was re-inserted as the starter when Hoyer suffered a season-ending injury, but the 30-year-old lost his job again, this time to Jason Campbell.
Weeden passed for 5,116 yards and went 5-15 as a starter in two seasons. His release was expected with the Browns likely to take a quarterback in May’s draft.
The Browns have not made any free-agent announcements. On Tuesday, they agreed to terms with strong safety Donte Whitner and linebacker Karlos Dansby on multiyear deals. They also signed backup cornerback Isaiah Trufant.