Apart from the obvious stuff, including the strong-to-quite-strong chance the Seahawks have of winning the Super Bowl, Winfield likely realizes that he has a chance of extensive playing time. And not just because of the ever-present possibility of injuries.
In 2012, starter Brandon Browner served a four-game suspension, reportedly after testing positive for Adderall. One more violation of the policy against performance-enhancing substances will result in an eight-game suspension. Likewise, fellow starter Richard Sherman dodged a four-game Adderall suspension of his own, beating the penalty on appeal.
A failed test or other violation by either guy would vault Winfield into the starting lineup. If he would end up replacing Browner for half the season, Winfield would have a chance to seize the job across from Sherman for the balance of the year.
From the Seahawks’ perspective, it makes plenty of sense to have a high-end reserve ready to go, in the event that Browner or Sherman suddenly are unavailable for reasons other than injury. For Winfield, it makes sense to be in position to make a potentially major contribution to one of the short-list Super Bowl favorites for 2013.