A Letter to Donte Whitner


Dear Donte,

I’d like to start off by saying that I’ve been a steadfast supporter of yours since you arrived in 2006.  In fact, my first article I published on here is about backing you up (https://buffalowdown.com/2010/11/14/just-leave-donte-alone/).  I’ve seen every down you’ve ever played.  I know what your strengths are, as well as your weaknesses.

I’m writing to ask you to please reconsider your decision to leave the Buffalo Bills.  While I realize it’s not official yet, one can tell by your most recent Twitter comments that you’re chomping at the bit to catch the first plane out of here.  That way, you can rub it in the face of every hater when you’re successful somewhere else.

I realize you feel you’re worth more in the open market than Buffalo is offering and you’d be right.  I envision Dallas and Washington offering you upwards of $7 mil a season.  Now, you’ve always been a team-oriented guy and a leader.  It’s easy for me to say, but why try to put the team you’re going to play for in salary cap jail (assuming a new one is put in place)?  You’re worth more than $5 million a year, but that’s a fair offer that compensates you handsomely and allows for you to have better players around you.  I know you care about winning as much as I do, and I can’t imagine that you’d rather have an additional $2 million a season than 2 additional wins a season.  With the money the Bills are saving, we can retain other key players and/or sign a player that can help us win.  It’s not like you’re going to be on food stamps, either.

Money aside, would you really want to leave here and give up on what you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into the past five seasons?  Buffalo is just like your stomping grounds in Cleveland.  We’re an impatient and, albeit, sometimes obnoxious city because we care about winning and we’re starved for a championship.  I’m not trying to make excuses for the fans that are misinformed and feel better about themselves by attacking you as a person.  I’m just trying to explain to you that you shouldn’t take everyone’s comments to heart.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I never understood personal attacks that some fans feel the need to say.  It’s one thing to criticize play at times, but I’ve read some of the harsh barbs people have given you and it’s not justified. That’s just a sample, though.  People are much more likely to complain than compliment, which is why you hear the bad more than the good.

In closing, you epitomize what it means to live in Buffalo.  You’re a lunch-pail guy that works hard.  You’re finally in a scheme that best fits your strengths.  You have the athleticism to move all over the field, jumping in the box and dropping into coverage.  I’m not really sure why people can’t understand how difficult it is for a 5’10” guy to cover a 6’6″ TE with 30 pounds on him, but you were asked to do it a lot in years past (not as much this season, but you held up OK for the most part).  You can’t say enough about the intangibles of living in the film room and being the heart and soul of a defense.  The hits you lay on players are tone setters.  Your presence on the field will be missed if you choose to go, and I’m going to be pretty miffed if I see it happen without trying to do something about it.


P.S. As much as you love social networking, try not to look at it as much.  You’ll only get yourself frustrated!