The Minnesota Vikings made a surprising move last week by releasing cornerback Antoine Winfield, and even at the time general manager Rick Spielman did not rule out bringing the 35-year old veteran (36 in June) back. Winfield had been slated to make $7.25 million for the 2013 season, and despite reported talks of him taking a pay cut nothing came to fruition prior to last Tuesday’s move.
Winfield’s release leaves the Vikings without one of their team leaders, and they now look even thinner at cornerback. A report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.com last week suggested Winfield would begin to visit interested teams this week, and there are plenty of teams out there who could use a veteran corner with plenty left in the tank. More recent news suggests the Vikings have been talking to Winfield’s agent about bringing him back, and head coach Leslie Frazier himself has been talking to Winfield since his release. All things considered, should he be interested in returning to Minnesota?
2013 was the final year of Winfield’s contract with the Vikings, and his high level of play in 2012 boosted his salary for next season to that $7.25 million figure. So I’m sure talks of restructuring his contract came as a surprise, but the real shock came last Tuesday when he was released in the middle of a workout at the team’s facility.
Winfield does not come across as the type of person to hold a grudge based on a business move, which his being released clearly was, and his relationship with Frazier and other veteran teammates may foster a return to the Vikings. But I think it would behoove him to see what else is out there on the free agent market, and if he can join a legit Super Bowl contender for 2013 he should do so.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.