Vikings release Antoine Winfield


In case it wasn’t clear before, it should be now — this is not the year to be an expensive, veteran cornerback.

According to Tom Pelissero of, the Vikings have released Antoine Winfield.

That takes $7.25 million in base salary off the books, but leaves the Vikings extremely thin at the position, and adds another item to their shopping list along with wide receiver.

A glut of players in similar position means they can likely find a cheaper alternative than the 35-year-old.

69 responses to “Vikings release Antoine Winfield

  1. What!?! Noooooooo!!!!!!!

    Is this what Rick Speilman calls improving the team? Releasing your best CB, with no viable replacement in place?

    Bad move….

  2. That kind of sucks. He was a great pro and one of the finest tacklers ever seen at his position.
    Father time catches up with everyone though and his coverage ability has taken quite a hit.
    It will be interesting to see who they sign to replace him.

  3. my favorite viking, ever. perhaps the best form tackling db of the past decade.

    he will be missed.

  4. Not a fan of this move. Winfield brought more to the team than just his play on the field. He was a leader! Hard to replace this guy.

  5. Going to be interesting the next couple of days, weeks, months as to what we are going to do to fill the holes… Getting cap money, but are we going to get any quality players. Will make it hard for veterans to want to come to Minnesota if everyone is going.

  6. As a human being, this hurts. As a football move, Vikings are going to be making a big move here obviously (Revis, Wallace, etc.)

  7. In Spielman We Trust.

    Other than that Carlson contract (which he has tried to amend), he has shown he has the gusto to make some tough calls, that might get the Vikings over the hump.

  8. Keep the CB that beats up his girlfriend and cut the CB that didn’t get into any trouble. Add that to the circular logic of trading Harvin and keeping Simpson and you begin to notice a trend here.

    He might be expensive but at least he’s not in jail when Sunday comes around and you need your players on the field.

  9. I pray they aren’t stockpiling cap room just so they can blow their wad by overpaying Wallace. That would be a stupid move on their part.

    While I can see long term Winfield can’t be your guy, he’s still the best corner we have (had) at the moment and we have no viable replacement. None of the 2nd tier free agents know our system, so I’d be skeptical they’d be able to step right in and be super productive. And any draft picks will take a couple years to develop and get used to the speed of playing in the NFL.

    We’ll see how big an impact this has, but at the moment it doesn’t sound like a very wise move from a team that made the playoffs last year.

  10. Is this some sort of sick joke?! Winfield is a class act and will be missed. We already have tons of cap room so this means they must be making a splash in FA or maybe going after Revis?

  11. Cue the Vikings fans calling this a bad move. He’s a 35 year old slot DB due 7 million. This is not a 29 year old Antoine Winfield.

  12. Winfield was a leader and good player even at his age but I am okay with this move. It frees up a lot of cap room and gets time for younger players.

  13. I was only half kidding when I thinking the Vikings should draft Honeybadger to replace they really should so we don’t need to see Marcus Sherels on defense this year

  14. On the surface, a very questionable move. But as fans thats all we see, this one move. Theres a plan in place and a reason for doing this..

  15. Maybe he comes back at a reduced salary….. But if he doesn’t, it’s been great, Mr. Winfield. Would you mind coming back as a coach and teaching these kids about how to tackle on the edge?

  16. Thank you for all the great years, Antoine. Certainly a class act in every regard. But if the Vikings can get a younger player with as much talent, that’s what they need to do to make this team better.

    Wonder who it’s gonna be? Vikings got Winfield away from the Jets in 2004… will they get another CB away from the Jets this year?

  17. This will save the Vikings 7.5 million in cap space. Winfield has always been one of the best tackling corners in the league since he was a rookie, but recently his pass coverage has been declining. The vikings had no choice and as a viking fan I knew this was coming, wouldnt be suprised to see jared allen go next as he is going to be making 14 million next year.

  18. You have to trust in the Vikes system that there is a plan in place, Winfield was our best free agent acquisition in the past ten years, he will be missed because he played the corner spot better than anyone else even though he was overlooked by others that had more int’s, or were more outspoken. A true football player!!! Hopefully these cuts, trades and re-structures lead into great things.

  19. I’m 98% sure Wallace wont be signing in Minnesota.. Not Aslong as Ponder is the QB..Plus, Mike wants to live in Warm weather now days! BUT..he’s $ if the bikes wana pay him 13m a year and the Dolphins don’t offer 13.5 ya got a chance!

  20. As much as it sucks the move makes total sense. A cap hit of over 7 million for an aging CB past his prime isn’t good for business. I wouldn’t be surprised if he signs back for less but he won’t get anywhere near the 7 million he was going to get paid.

  21. Winfield was the toughest pound for pound player ive ever watched. he will be sorely missed in minny but i hope for his sake he catches on with a contender and gets a shot at a ring. total class act, best wishes Antoine

  22. I’m sure they tried to get him to take a lower salary for this year but he must not have wanted to. It’s unfortunate because he’s a great leader even if he can’t play like he used to. One of my favorite Vikings ever and no doubt the best cornerback in the team’s history.

  23. Welcome to Minnesota’s defense Honey Badger and Manti Teo (and thats not using either of the 1st round picks)…Boom

  24. Hello Vikings fans, have you even cponsidered that maybe, just maybe the Vikings reached out to AW and asked him to restructure his deal, and maybe, just maybe he turned us down? There is a lot more to this story than just the title of it!

  25. Love Antoine Winfield and wish him the best but I guess as fans, we have to look at this like the players do… it’s a business.

  26. I own two Vikings jerseys: Antoine Winfield and Percy Harvin. LOVED watching both of them play…

    What a dissapointing week…

    Interested to see what moves are made in the near future.

  27. wludford says: Mar 12, 2013 2:54 PM

    Thank you for all the great years, Antoine. Certainly a class act in every regard. But if the Vikings can get a younger player with as much talent, that’s what they need to do to make this team better.

    Wonder who it’s gonna be? Vikings got Winfield away from the Jets in 2004… will they get another CB away from the Jets this year?

    IT WAS THE BILLS! Nice try

  28. this move reminds me of a very similar move spielman made cutting the team down to 53 man roster last fall when he cut Ryan Longwell. complete class acts but were kept 2 years 2 long. I love winfield and his football acumen but has just been injured way to much past 2 years and he was starting to miss tackles and lose a step. it does hurt and a slight shock but im sure spielman & co have a plan. at this point im slightly more concerned bout possibly losing loadholt

  29. It’s a process to build a consistent team. Have a little faith in what Spielman is envisioning. I’m sad to see Antoine go, he was great. But now we have an extra $7.25 million in cap space. I’m guessing were looking to make a splash in some free agency signing and then draft young replacements on defense. Winfield would not have been able to play every down, and $7 million is a lot to pay for a part time player.

    Thanks for everything, Antoine! You were great to watch in purple!

  30. This one really hurts. Face of the franchise. The FO is really doing a number to me these past few days, need some positive movement here real soon. I know there’s probably a plan of sorts, but I’m impatient :\

  31. I love Winfield and he is a very underrated DB, a tackling machine for sure. For a slot DB who plays limited snaps 7 mil is too much plain and simple. He will probably come back at a lower cap figure.

  32. damn that sucks…but like the Longwell release we have to look at the reality. Antoine wasn’t able to finish the previous 3 seasons without injury, so they limited him this year…and thats just too much money to pay a part timer. Hate to see you go, thank you for the memories

  33. Great against the run, terrible against the pass the last couple of years. His game against Indianapois last year was atrocious. Hope they re-sign him at a discounted rate but 7.5 million is way too much for him. Many fans are heartbroken over the memory of his play 4 to 5 years ago but not the last couple where he got burned repeatedly.

  34. Spielman is getting too fancy with himself. Seems like we have downgraded at WR and CB and might be doing the same at RT and FB. Meanwhile, we have upgraded…nowhere!

    If they don’t resign Loadholt I could see AP telling Spielman, “Yo, if this S#!t your doing doesn’t work out…I want out of here.”

  35. Liked the comment about adding Honey Badger and Manti Te’o. Te’o would probably be trying to date a guy named Honey Badger for all of training camp.

  36. veence69 says:
    Mar 12, 2013 2:48 PM
    Cue the Vikings fans calling this a bad move. He’s a 35 year old slot DB due 7 million. This is not a 29 year old Antoine Winfield.

    ???? that 35 year old would hit you like a 1880’s brick house just fell on you. Hope he atleast takes a pay cut an comes back, CB or COACH

    moves these past 2 days , kinda looks like a BIG move


  37. I hate it but can’t fault it either. $7.25 mil for a 35 year old corner that can really only play the slot effectively and has been hurt a lot recently is too much.

    But wow does that ever make the position of DB thin again on the Vikes. They better have something up their sleeves.

    I’m getting this bad feeling that Wilf, who was spending like crazy “pre-stadium deal” is now going to go all Red McCombs on us and cut costs.

  38. I’ve always loved Antoine Winfield…that guy is a great, solid, old-school football player. That man tackles… I admired him during his time with Bills and was disappointed that the Vikes held onto him as long as they did.

    If a coach had to put on an instructional video on tackling…it would star Winfield…hands down. I know I’m echoing most of the posters above, but the NFL is better with a player like him doing his thing.

  39. Quit your crying. Even Winfield knew it was the end of the road. I love the guy, but I’m not writing his paychecks. I’m not a coach or a doctor. He’s great in the slot and tackles anyone that comes his way. But he hasn’t been the picture of health. The guy has had an awesome career and if some team has 8 million sitting around for a slot CB, I hope he makes that team.

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