Beat reporters honor Whitner's professionalism

Beat reporters honor Whitner's professionalism
January 23, 2014, 12:15 pm
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In 47 games over three seasons with the 49ers, Donte Whitner has five interceptions and five forced fumbles. (USATSI)

Safety Donte Whitner was chosen Thursday as the winner of the Garry Niver Award for his cooperation and professionalism in dealing with the media.

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Local reporters who cover the 49ers on a daily basis voted on the award, which is sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America.

Whitner was routinely available to reporters and spoke candidly on a number of subjects during the course of the season, including controversial unnecessary-roughness penalties.

Whitner has won the award in two of his three seasons since signing with the 49ers in 2011. He is scheduled to be a free agent, and this week expressed his desire to return to the 49ers.

“I’m not a greedy person, but you want to do what you can in free agency,” Whitner said. “And, hopefully, I can do that here in San Francisco.”

Others who received votes for the Niver Award were Bruce Miller, Jonathan Goodwin, Eric Reid, Carlos Rogers, Joe Staley, Glenn Dorsey, Tarell Brown, Phil Dawson and Frank Gore.

Named after the late former 49ers beat writer for the San Mateo Times, the Garry Niver Award has been presented annually since 1993.