According to reports, the Seattle Seahawks are on the verge of signing cornerback Antoine Winfield, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings. Although a deal has yet to be struck, the 35-year-old veteran is expected to decide between Seattle and his former team soon.
If he were to sign with the Seahawks, Winfield would bring an exciting new aspect to an already-scary Seattle secondary that includes Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
While age is starting to become a factor for Winfield, he proved in 2012 that he can still defend the run as well as any cornerback in the NFL. Throughout last season, Winfield racked up 101 total tackles for the Vikings while serving primarily as their nickel cornerback. He has never been afraid to step up and get dirty against the run, helping him grade out as Pro Football Focus’ top run-defending cornerback in 2012.
At this point in his career, Winfield doesn’t have the speed to compete on the outside. He does, however, have the technique, savvy and athleticism to compete as a nickel cornerback. Winfield has also shown an affinity for blizting throughout his career, which will work well for the Seahawks and their exotic defensive schemes.
More than anything, Winfield is an intriguing option for the Seahawks because of everything he can teach their young, physical group of defensive backs. Despite already being arguably the best secondary in the NFL, they’re still young and have plenty of growing to do. What better teacher than one of the wisest cornerbacks in the NFL?
Signing Winfield would be just the underrated move the Seahawks need to continue their candidacy as early Super Bowl favorites. The veteran would bring a plethora of knowledge and experience to their dangerous defensive backfield while providing them with a reliable option at nickel cornerback.
The Vikings made a huge mistake in letting Winfield go at the start of free agency, and could soon pay a greater price than the money they saved in releasing him.