How Badly do the Minnesota Vikings Need CB Antoine Winfield?

By Andrew Fisher
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since his surprising release at the start of free agency, all fans have heard is that the Minnesota Vikings want Antoine Winfield back. They couldn’t afford to pay him the $7 million he was owed this season, so they cut him loose with the hope that he would come back. I’m sure, even though he knows it was a business move, that this whole thing didn’t sit well with the veteran corner.

Now it seems that Winfield is deciding between the Vikings and Washington Redskins, on where to play next season. He still hasn’t it made up his mind, but the Vikings haven’t changed theirs. They really do want him back, which they should.

I understand why they cut him, but will Winfield still have any loyalty to a team, that wasn’t loyal to him? That’s the question. But on the other side, how badly do the Vikings really need him?

Clearly, he’s an asset to the team with his veteran presence and leadership, but he’s also 35. Would the Vikings be better served to find his replacement via the draft? For 2013, the answer is no. But, long-term, the answer is yes.

Minnesota is right to want Winfield back, and I hope they re-sign him, but it’s not the end of the world if they don’t. Worst case scenario, they might be forced to move on from the veteran cornerback a year sooner than planned. They’re a better team with him, but overall, I’m just going to consider it a bonus if he returns to Minneapolis next season.


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