Minnesota Vikings Could Have Two Seasoned Veterans on Defense in 2013
There’s been a ton of speculation on whether or not Brian Urlacher will sign the Minnesota Vikings. In addition to the veteran linebacker, the team also remains in talks with the recently released Antoine Winfield. The cornerback’s release was shocking to just about everyone, but the team simply made a harsh business decision.
So what are the chances that Urlacher and Winfield both sign deals to play in Minneapolis next season? If not both, then who’s the most likely to ink a contract? I think there’s a decent chance both sign, and a good chance one of them signs.
Winfield is understandably not happy about what happened, so he actually seems like more of a long-shot. The Vikings just weren’t willing to pay him the $7 million he was due to make, and you can bet they won’t re-up him for anything close to that amount of money. It’s tough to know what Winfield will think about that, but after talking to other teams around the league, you can bet he knows what he’s worth in today’s market (and it’s not seven mil).
Urlacher wants to start and play for a contender, and he’d have those opportunities with Minnesota. The money part will again be the big question mark though, as we all know Rick Spielman won’t overpay for the aging linebacker.
I’m in favor of signing both of these guys to contracts. I understand the team wants to go young, and while that’s the right call, every team still needs veterans. What Winfield and Urlacher are now lacking on the field, they would more than make up for with off-the-field attributes.
To clarify, I’m in favor of bringing both of them on, but I do think their playing time should be regulated. The young players do need more snaps, and you don’t want the old guys taking those opportunities away. Plus, both Winfield and Urlacher are coming off of injuries in 2012, and we all know that their bodies only have so many downs left in them.
Signing both players is not a bad thing for the franchise. It doesn’t mean the team still shouldn’t draft a linebacker or cornerback, either. I think they should get a player at both positions. Urlacher and Winfield would simply make the Vikings’ roster better in 2013. They would provide a ton of veteran leadership, and if healthy, both can still be very productive on the field.
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