As you've all heard by now, Antoine Winfield is set this week to meet with the Seattle Seahawks. There he would be reunited with Heath Farwell, Sidney Rice, and Percy Harvin, as well as playing on a team with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations this year. Did I mention that the Seahawks have over $3 million dollars more than we do in cap space? Because that's pretty important, too.
I don't see how Winfield leaves Seattle without a contract, unless they for whatever reason decide not to pursue him after all. Admittedly Seattle's secondary, unlike ours, doesn't exactly need Winfield. They do have Brandon Browner and OMG RICHARD SHERMAN HE SAVED US ALL! (I love that meme- h/t NFL memes on Facebook.) After that they have Walter Thurmond, who in 14 games last season netted 37 tackles total (33 solo and 4 assists), not terrible I suppose for a nickelback, but not exactly the 90 total (73 solo 13 assists) for one Mr. Winfield. While Winfield would certainly become the nickel in Seattle, the Vikings had previously all but announced the intention to make him as such full-time here even prior to his release, so it's not like one team is offering him a better role than the other. With Browner and Sherman out there, plugging Winfield into the nickel would just make that a nightmare for opposing offenses.
Did I mention we play them next year? Because that's pretty important, too.
Keeping in mind again the fact that Seattle can offer him more money than we can, and the fact that they can genuinely offer him a chance at a championship ring in what is very likely his last year in the NFL, I can't imagine that if they do make him an offer he won't take it. Not to mention, as gentlemanly as he has been about the whole situation, you will never convince me that Rick Spielman's cold-hearted dismissal of him- again, the way it was done, not just the fact that he was released- hasn't left at least a little bitter taste in his mouth.
Of course, his relationship with Leslie Frazier appears to remain strong, and reportedly Frazier is bending over backwards to convince Winfield to forgive the team and give them another chance. But with limited cap space, I can't imagine what the Vikings are able to offer him at this time. And having seen the brutality of the NFL's business side from the team's perspective, I would have to imagine he's looking to make as much change now as he can for one last hurrah. And can you blame him?