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Once released, Antoine Winfield wasn’t returning to Minnesota

Goldeon Tate, Antoine Winfield AP

After nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Antoine Winfield is settling in to his new role as the nickel cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks.

Winfield signed with Seattle this offseason after being released by the Vikings in March. Winfield had been working to rehab his knee after surgery at the Vikings’ facility when he was called into general manager Rick Spielman’s office and told he was being let go. However, once the Vikings had his previous contract off the books, Minnesota looked to bring Winfield back on a reduced deal.

But Winfield had already put the Vikings in his rear-view mirror.

“Once I took my nameplate off that locker, it was a wrap,” Winfield said. “It was time to go.”

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier pushed hard to get Winfield to return to the Vikings but ultimately couldn’t sway him from joining the Seahawks.

The deal he accepted from Seattle was ultimately for less guaranteed money than the Vikings were offering as well. Per a source with knowledge of the deals, the Vikings were offering a fully guaranteed one-year, $3 million contract. The deal from Seattle is only for $2 million for just $1 million fully guaranteed. It can ultimately reach a total value of $3 million if Winfield meets thresholds for playing time and interceptions.

Winfield said the chance to chase a Super Bowl with the Seahawks was the biggest factor in why he wanted to accept less money and a non-starting role with Seattle. Despite making the playoffs last season, Winfield didn’t see the Vikings as having as strong a chance to win a ring this season.

“[The Seahawks] have an opportunity to do something that I dream about every night and that’s win a championship,” Winfield said. “I don’t have too much time left. This is Year 15 for me so I’m trying to get it this year.”

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56 Responses to “Once released, Antoine Winfield wasn’t returning to Minnesota”
  1. threedeep1998 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:51 PM

    Sorry we let you go baby, but I hope the Seahawks are the 2013 version of the “Dream Team” and CRUMBLE

  2. sampulls says: Jun 17, 2013 11:52 PM

    Class act.
    Big loss for the Vikings.
    Big gain for the Seahawks.
    Hope he gets a ring.

  3. Dream_Machine says: Jun 17, 2013 11:53 PM

    Strictly Business…

  4. hooterdawg says: Jun 17, 2013 11:55 PM

    So Winfield is motivated by his selfish goals rather than loyalty to his MN fans. Why is it that the fans are always a last consideration.

  5. thefox61 says: Jun 17, 2013 11:56 PM

    Welcome to the Great Northwest!

  6. doe22us says: Jun 17, 2013 11:58 PM

    Superbowl?? Poor business decision no ,atter how much that boy was hurt $3m guaranteed is still $3m, but hey maybe he wanted a change.

  7. sarge says: Jun 18, 2013 12:16 AM

    (Viking fan) Don’t blame him one bit. Love how he plays, great addition for the Seahawks in that backfield. He’ll always be one of my favorite Vikings.

  8. missjackson75 says: Jun 18, 2013 12:21 AM

    why am i the only one who’s skeptical that wilson will have another great year? i have my doubts…teams have film on him now. good luck antoine, miss u already!

  9. miamikillerdolphins says: Jun 18, 2013 12:25 AM

    For some players.I guess money isn’t everything!

  10. jusjamn says: Jun 18, 2013 12:34 AM

    Smart choice. Vikings aren’t sniffing playoffs for a long time.

  11. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 18, 2013 12:41 AM

    I really like Winfield but I hope he doesn’t get a ring in Seattle.

  12. fumblenuts says: Jun 18, 2013 12:41 AM

    “Once I took my nameplate off that locker, it was a wrap,” Winfield said. “It was time to go.”

    Nice……Welcome to the Hawks!

  13. rhcpvikings says: Jun 18, 2013 12:44 AM

    You’ll regret leaving the Vikings Antoine.

  14. ponderthedumpoffking says: Jun 18, 2013 12:45 AM

    …Who would?

    Love that he rips the Vikings being able to win.

    Ahahahahahahahahaha

  15. macneil4025 says: Jun 18, 2013 12:48 AM

    You were a badass Viking, thanks for the memories!!

  16. slugbaitspace says: Jun 18, 2013 12:50 AM

    He’s hungry. Love it. Go Hawks.

  17. outlawshark says: Jun 18, 2013 1:30 AM

    Yet another player willing to be paid less money to play for another team rather than the Vikings. Not just the dome collapsing out there…

  18. angelogiaquinto18 says: Jun 18, 2013 1:39 AM

    Winfield said the chance to chase a Super Bowl with the Seahawks was the biggest factor in why he wanted to accept less money and a non-starting role with Seattle. Despite making the playoffs last season, Winfield didn’t see the Vikings as having as strong a chance to win a ring this season.
    -————————
    They didnt have a strong chance with him either when he was there because he got hurt almost every season. Good guy but great players with high cap numbers who are injury prone get released all the time, suck up your pride and show your not a front runner. But I think vikes are better without him anyway. No chance vs megaton, Marshall and jordy Nelson! And Seattle putting a lot in hoping rice and harvin stay healthy so don’t put em in the meadowlands just yet!

  19. pillowporkers says: Jun 18, 2013 2:20 AM

    Gotta love Antoine Winfield. The guy is a true stand up and didn’t deserve what the Vikings did. I wouldve taken less money to leave after that too. Theres no doubt Seattle ran off with two of the Vikings better players from last year. Unfortunately, I think Seattle will be lucky to get 16 games out of Percy and Antoine combined. If they do get lucky it’ll be good for the Seahawks though.

  20. dirtysouthniner says: Jun 18, 2013 3:11 AM

    Good luck wiley veteran.. its gonna be a battle against the niners this year

  21. rukkus1 says: Jun 18, 2013 3:57 AM

    The Vikings: nfl version of a Seahwaks farm team

  22. allidoiswin55 says: Jun 18, 2013 4:34 AM

    Que all the Seadderall Cheathawks comments.. Pete Carroll is a cheater, Reggie bush’s family got an house a fat payday but Pete took off before the school had sanctions, he’s a looser..

    If you hate the Seahawks you either are or have been owned by them recently, or they offered your player less money than your team and they chose to take it. PETE has built one of the most competitive programs in the nfl. PETE and his rah rah attitude happens to be a master motivator and recruiter. Doesn’t it hurt to hear.. ” your team is a playoff team ” yet the players don’t believe they are serious contenders? Doesn’t that sting.. Honestly he’s only stating the obvious.. But I know that hurts..

    DONT be mad because a your favorite teams offer some of our new players MORE money and they would rather take a potential paycut just to play in lonely Ol winless seattle and for an cheater… ASK AVRIL, Winfield, Bennet, and Percy about Seattles cap situation, I’ll tell you… It’s BEAUTIFUL FOR years.

    No major blockbusters besides Harvin. The rest took show me deals over your Guranteed money.. This is why all seahawks fans laugh are your silly asses.

    We support our team regardless, and when their good like now, they have undoubtedly the best home field advantage in all of sports. Sure some seahawks players were caught using a little something, does anyone believe that there team isn’t either?

    Half the Seahawks suspensions were to people who never played a down , tested positive Before joining the team and served the suspension once on the seahawks and another who had a prescription that wasn’t sent to the league office.

    But don’t worry your dear little hearts, ALL AND EVERY Seahawks player cheats , all of them will be suspended, and cheat Carroll will be out of the league soon. The Seahags were lucky last year and or are trying to be the next dream team.. Lol okay keep telling yourselves this nonsense and keep trying to use some cosmic ginx to pray that they fall and don’t succeed, it might ease the pain of this upcoming season.

    The seahawks are the hardest working nfl team, they always make everything into a competition and therefore are always improving and are never satisfied , yes Carroll was trash at NE, and Nyj, but he perfected winning at Usc and brought that to Seattle with his philosophy.

    We hate to loose more than you love to win.. That’s why we’ll be better than them.

    Hashtag that homie!!! Go Hawks!!!

  23. spideysdog says: Jun 18, 2013 5:47 AM

    well said Antoine, and welcome to the team. Go Hawks

  24. greenmeattruck says: Jun 18, 2013 6:23 AM

    Finally learned after 9 seasons. There’s also the thought that the Vikes are 0-4 when they do get to the SB. Yeah, that’s right….LOSERS!

  25. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 18, 2013 6:27 AM

    That’s funny, cuz I thought rickspeilmanisamagician says Vikes are always loyal to injured players and will stand by them til the end…

  26. veence69 says: Jun 18, 2013 6:28 AM

    Good luck, Winfield! I’m very happy the Vikings didn’t resign you – but only because it would have been redundant to do so. I’m pretty sure all three of us are aware and ok with that.

    Great player. I wish you all the best.

  27. veence69 says: Jun 18, 2013 6:30 AM

    He’s a Russell Wilson injury away from his Superbowl aspirations going through Tavaris Jackson’s arm..

  28. jjb0811 says: Jun 18, 2013 6:47 AM

    Speaks volumes about the QB’s.

  29. whatjusthapped says: Jun 18, 2013 7:32 AM

    Winfield comes right out and says what everyone recognizes as reality (with the exception of the kool aide drinking Viking fans), he wants to win a championship and assesses the chances are greater outside the Vikings franchise. 52 years of history tells us the same story.

  30. guruvious says: Jun 18, 2013 7:36 AM

    Antoine, I loved you as a Vike but if you had of been on the field more maybe you’d realize how good this team is gonna be.
    Sorry but this is a business son.

  31. gbmickey says: Jun 18, 2013 7:52 AM

    He said he wouldnt get a ring in Minnesota, I have to agree. Now if the season would just get here so the fans themselves will finally come to the same realization.

  32. gtodriver says: Jun 18, 2013 7:56 AM

    I think Winfield is a great player and wished he had decided to stay in MN.

    I think going to Seattle was a mistake – because I don’t see that team making it to the NFC Championship game.

    Taking less money and messing up his family situation for the false hope for a ring wasn’t a smart decision.

  33. cash804 says: Jun 18, 2013 8:06 AM

    “Despite making the playoffs last season, Winfield didn’t see the Vikings as having as strong a chance to win a ring this season.”

    A sentiment shared by all NFL players and fans…

  34. touchdownroddywhite says: Jun 18, 2013 8:10 AM

    I think more vet players could win a ring if they took this approach. Smart move by a savvy vet…

  35. jimnsota says: Jun 18, 2013 8:12 AM

    Good luck Twan, best tackling CB in the history if the NFL. Time was right Vikes couldn’t pay that much and needed to get younger. Hopefully Rhodes can fill your shoes.

  36. firestarter0728 says: Jun 18, 2013 8:17 AM

    Notice how after he was released by the Vikings, there was never any talk about him signing with Green Bay.

    Just saying.

  37. operwapitsai says: Jun 18, 2013 8:43 AM

    how cant this be motivation for a underated vikings club? One of their biggest leaders left and snubbed them (besides the fact he was cut, he could have returned) because he didnt believe in them. Shoot, that would get me pumped if nothing else… skol

  38. lks311 says: Jun 18, 2013 9:22 AM

    Dream_Machine says:
    Jun 17, 2013 11:53 PM
    Strictly Business…
    ——————-
    Except when they’re people involved…then it’s personal.

    Far as a poor business decision, his former employer decided he wasn’t a valued member to the organization, so he decided he no longer wanted to be part of that organization. I say, great character decision.

  39. larrydavid7000 says: Jun 18, 2013 9:26 AM

    I would of like if my team could of got him but things happened for a reason. Instead my team drafted 3 players that will make up our secondary for the next 10-15 years. All in all it was a good move on my team.

  40. apollo1989 says: Jun 18, 2013 10:39 AM

    Any of the Vikings fans calling him selfish, not caring about the fans, or infering that he’ll regret leaving, remember YOUR team cut him. Your GM took a chance, and couldn’t sign him for less money.

    This wasn’t a case of a player becoming a FA then leaving (a la Greg Jennings), you cut him then expected him to come back for less money, too bad.

  41. purpleguy says: Jun 18, 2013 10:58 AM

    This Viking fan doesn’t blame Winfield one bit for leaving and not looking back — Spielman could have handled his contract re-negotiation much, much better, and Winfield was due that respect. Anyone with half a brain, even Packer fans, knows that the Hawks are more posed to reach the SB in the little time Winfield has remaining.

  42. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 18, 2013 11:45 AM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:Jun 18, 2013 6:27 AM

    That’s funny, cuz I thought rickspeilmanisamagician says Vikes are always loyal to injured players and will stand by them til the end…
    ____

    He isn’t injured.

  43. mediasloppy says: Jun 18, 2013 12:04 PM

    It really is ironic how some players are bashed for trying to go for a ring, while others are praised for making the same decision…

  44. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:Jun 18, 2013 11:45 AM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:Jun 18, 2013 6:27 AM

    That’s funny, cuz I thought rickspeilmanisamagician says Vikes are always loyal to injured players and will stand by them til the end…
    ____

    He isn’t injured.

    ——-

    If he wasn’t injured, why did he have surgery on his knee? Was it for cosmetic reasons?

  45. Frazier28/7 says: Jun 18, 2013 12:46 PM

    Can’t blame the man.

    Get Antoine a ring Seattle. And please crush Green Bay along the way.

  46. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 18, 2013 1:30 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM

    If he wasn’t injured, why did he have surgery on his knee? Was it for cosmetic reasons?
    ___

    I guess if you consider needing a minor procedure to clean some stuff up an “injury,” we should be cutting Chad Greenway any day.

  47. pillowporkers says: Jun 18, 2013 2:00 PM

    I love all of the people ripping the Vikings and saying Winfield would be better off outside of their organization to win a super bowl. I’m pretty sure Seattle’s at a whopping 0 super bowl wins too.

  48. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 18, 2013 2:18 PM

    Rick Spielman is a Magician says:Jun 18, 2013 1:30 PM

    Carl Gerbschmidt says:Jun 18, 2013 12:41 PM

    If he wasn’t injured, why did he have surgery on his knee? Was it for cosmetic reasons?
    ___

    I guess if you consider needing a minor procedure to clean some stuff up an “injury,” we should be cutting Chad Greenway any day

    —–

    I do if it was significant enough to require rehab. I guess you just call it an excuse to get rid of some higher priced veteran talent. For what by the way? Are you guys saving up for Christian’s next big contract? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

  49. packerbacker2010 says: Jun 18, 2013 2:46 PM

    thats funny that winfield wouldnt even think of resignging in minnesota they are not that good and probably will finish behind chicago and detroit and play for a top 5 pick inthe draft this year behind their terrible oline dline and no wide recievers that are any good except former packers that we dont even want but for some reason minnestoa thinks are really good andcan still play

  50. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 18, 2013 3:21 PM

    @pullowpork

    Congratulations, your team has lost more Super Bowls than the Seahawks.

  51. mackcarrington says: Jun 18, 2013 3:24 PM

    hooterdawg says:
    Jun 17, 2013 11:55 PM
    So Winfield is motivated by his selfish goals rather than loyalty to his MN fans. Why is it that the fans are always a last consideration.
    =========================
    Am I missing something or was he released by the Vikings? And all you can comment on is HIS supposed lack of loyalty? Are you 15 years old? He gets cut by the team and he is supposed to be concerned about the FANS?

  52. seals1 says: Jun 18, 2013 10:35 PM

    Enjoy third fiddle winny. Rogers is pissed you left the Norris. Try not to turn into a cheater. Don’t let the dead crap in the tank kill you also.

  53. filipinoviking says: Jun 19, 2013 5:16 AM

    I loved and respected Antoine. I loved his play I respected his demeanor and his commitment to the Vikings and the State of MN. Then I heard he was going to have radio/press conference to talk to MN fans and anyone in general about his decision…and he didn’t show up for it. It was always nice that he did KFAN on Monday’s win or lose…but it was always sleepy/half-hearted by him. Was a great player, lip service to fans missed games 3 of the last 4 years.

  54. dtrb10 says: Jun 19, 2013 8:53 AM

    The cheaters got players that we obviously didn’t want anymore. Harvin is a whiney little girl and Winnie is old as dirt. We want young motivated talent and not to mention we have the greatest running back to ever play the game. We have a younger faster Winifield in Josh Robinson, We have Jennings and Patterson to replace Harvin and Michael Jenkins. I would take that any day. I can’t wait to see the SeaChickens fall flat on their face. The NFL is all over them about their cheating ways and the coach is a proven cheater. I would watch out for the 2 teams that no one is talking about in that division. The Cards and Rams both got markedly better this offseason!

  55. dtrb10 says: Jun 19, 2013 8:58 AM

    Yep that’s why Adrian averaged 200 yards a game against the Fudge Packers last year. Real horrible line there. Go back down mothers basement buddy.

    packerbacker2010 says: Jun 18, 2013 2:46 PM

    thats funny that winfield wouldnt even think of resignging in minnesota they are not that good and probably will finish behind chicago and detroit and play for a top 5 pick inthe draft this year behind their terrible oline dline and no wide recievers that are any good except former packers that we dont even want but for some reason minnestoa thinks are really good andcan still play

  56. themackstrong says: Jun 20, 2013 1:54 PM

    Seattle is lucky to have Winfield at nickel because Trufant (our aged warrior) was the only weak spot on secondary. I watched many Vikings games and on their defense Antoine stood out as a player maker in run game and coverage. The crazy thing is we have a young nickel CB Thurmond who is talented enough to start for over half the other teams in NFL but can’t stay healthy since his final year in college. A Minnesota fan took a shot at our back up Jackson- I’d rather have T-Jack than Ponder.

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