The Minnesota Vikings hoped to bring back Antoine Winfield but when they released him last month, they lost control of the situation.
And today Winfield made the decision to head elsewhere, agreeing to a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks, making one of the better secondaries in the NFL a little better.
The Vikings released Winfield because they determined his $7.25 million salary was too much for 2013. It was somewhat surprising at the time. Then, the club did what it could to talk Winfield into coming back – at a reduced rate – but the Seahawks won out.
The 35-year-old could figure as the nickel cornerback for the Seahawks, who have a pair of talented young starters in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
“It was a very tough decision for me because of the relationships that I have in Minnesota,” Winfield told Josina Anderson of ESPN. “I've been there nine years. I've had some really great coaches, teammates and fans there. I'm very grateful to the Vikings organization for my experience.”
The Vikings made the playoffs like the Seahawks this past season, but Seattle looks better positioned for success this coming year even though they are in the tough NFC West with the San Francisco 49ers.
“Those guys did an excellent job last season,” Winfield said. “They're young, athletic and energetic. I'm excited to play with Richard, Brandon, Kam (Chancellor) and Earl (Thomas) because they're some of the most talented players on defense in the NFL right now.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune