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The 49ers lost a safety and reached an agreement with his replacement in the opening moments of the free-agent signing period.
Former Indianapolis Colts safety Antoine Bethea confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he will be joining the 49ers as a replacement for Donte Whitner, who reached a reported four-year, $28 million contract with the Cleveland Browns.
Bethea's deal is expected to be four years, $23 million, ESPN reported.
Bethea, who turns 30 in July, has started every game the past six seasons of his eight-year career for the Colts. The 5-foot-11, 206-pounder has recorded 14 interceptions in his career. He was twice named to the AFC Pro Bowl team -- after the 2007 and 2009 seasons.
With Whitner's departure, Bethea is expected to start at strong safety alongside Eric Reid, who was a starter last season as a rookie. Craig Dahl and C.J. Spillman are the only other safeties with NFL experience on the 49ers' roster.
Bethea took to Twitter to announce the transaction on Tuesday:
Glad to be a Niner!! Going to the Bay!!!— Antoine Bethea (@Tweez41) March 11, 2014