On Monday, the Washington Redskins worked out a one-year deal with veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who they had released not a month earlier at the start of free agency.
While this move itself made no direct impact on the Minnesota Vikings, its underlying implications are what should matter to Twin Cities faithful.
With Hall back in D.C., the Redskins will likely drop their pursuit of free agent Antoine Winfield, who the Vikings are hoping to re-sign this offseason. Minnesota released the veteran cornerback at the start of free agency, and is desperately attempting to bring him back with a cap-friendly deal.
The Redkins had put the full-court press on Winfield, taking him out for a night of wining and dining last Wednesday. Still, he left D.C. without a deal in place. Hall’s return now makes signing Winfield extremely improbable for Washington.
As of last season, Winfield was still considered by many as the best run defending cornerback in the NFL, evidenced by his 101 tackles in 2012. He has been a staple in the Vikings’ secondary since he was signed back in 2004, and still has enough left in the tank at 35-years-old to help the Minnesota defensive backfield succeed in 2013.
According to Tom Pelissero of ESPN1500, the Vikings have been in “daily contact” with Winfield’s representatives. Head coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear that he’d like to have the wily cornerback back in Minnesota, but the price must be right as the Vikings sit not far below the salary cap.
At this moment, Winfield is believed to have as much interest in re-signing as the Vikings have in bringing him back. After his release from Minnesota, though, Winfield wanted to test his value on the open market. With few suitors reaching out to the aging cornerback, it appears that a return to the Vikings is now imminent with Washington out of the picture.
This Hall re-signing appears to be a blessing in disguise for the Vikings. Assuming they have taken (or still hold) the No. 1 spot atop Winfield’s wishlist, it shouldn’t be long before he’s back in purple and gold.