NFL free agency rumors: Seahawks host Antoine Winfield visit


Seattle may try to boost its secondary by signing Antoine Winfield.

The Seattle Seahawks hosted cornerback Antoine Winfield for a visit Tuesday, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. The Minnesota Vikings released the 14-year veteran on March 12, making him an unrestricted free agent.

At 36, Winfield likely won't garner a long-term deal or huge payday, but just because he's in the twilight of his career, that doesn't mean Winfield won't be a solid contributor for the team that lands him. The Seahawks have Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner to lock down the outside, but as Werder points out, Winfield would fit in nicely as a nickel corner.

In addition to possessing solid coverage skills, Winfield is good against the run. Last season, he played in all 16 regular-season games for the Vikings, compiling 100 tackles, 12 passes defensed, eight tackles for loss and three interceptions. Over the course of his lengthy career, he's totaled 1,053 tackles, 116 passes defended, 56 tackles for loss and 27 picks.

The Vikings' release of Winfield was a bit of a surprise, but they were facing salary cap issues and would have owed him $7.25 million in 2013. Minnesota is hoping to re-sign the cornerback at a reduced rate, and the Washington Redskins are also in the mix. However, Washington is a bit strapped for cash thanks to penalties stemming from the Redskins' free agency actions in 2010. But even with its financial issues, Washington is viewed as a contender.

The Denver Broncos have also been rumored to be pursuing Winfield, although Minnesota, Seattle and Washington are receiving much more buzz.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Winfield played the last nine seasons with the Vikings. Before that, he spent five years with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills selected him with the 23rd-overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft.

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