2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Winfield chasing championship in Seattle

By CURTIS CRABTREE - Associated Press
    2013-06-12 20:06

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Antoine Winfield had no reason to suspect anything was amiss when he headed to the Minnesota Vikings' practice facility to work out back in March.

It was a routine Winfield had repeated countless times during his nine seasons in Minnesota. The last thing the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback expected was for Vikings general manager Rick Spielman to call him upstairs and tell him he was being released.

The Vikings hadn't given any indication to Winfield or his agent that he could be let go and they hadn't asked if he'd be willing to consider taking a pay cut to stay in Minnesota. Then on the same day free agency began across the league, Winfield found himself without a job. Other pending free agents had been able to communicate with prospective teams throughout the prior weekend to gauge possible landing spots. Winfield was now forced to play catch-up.

``Definitely surprised me,'' Winfield said. ``... It is a business. I understand that. There really is no loyalty in this game.''

Even more surpassing was the Vikings soon began efforts to re-sign Winfield. Head coach Leslie Frazier tried to sell Winfield on not uprooting his family when he could remain with Minnesota. But the mixed messages didn't sit well with Winfield.

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

Minnesota's loss is Seattle's gain. Winfield elected to sign with the Seahawks for less money than the Vikings were offering to keep him in Minnesota. He turned down a fully guaranteed $3 million deal with the Vikings for a $2 million deal with Seattle that only had $1 million guaranteed. Incentives based on playing time and interception could ultimately push the value of his deal with Seattle back to $3 million.

For Winfield, the sour taste over the way the Vikings treated him was too much to overcome. The chance to join an already stellar secondary in Seattle didn't hurt either.

Winfield sees the Seahawks as a team that is one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. After coming close to making the Super Bowl with the Vikings in the 2009-10 season, a chance at a ring was the only motivation Winfield needed to sign with Seattle.

``They 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.

Winfield is slated to be the Seahawks' nickel cornerback this season. It was a position the Seahawks struggled to find consistency last year. Veteran Marcus Trufant was playing in the role for the first time in his career and wasn't as effective as the team had hoped. Winfield has played inside throughout his career and feels very comfortable at the nickel position.

According to STATS Inc., Trufant allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 93 rating against him when playing in the slot. Winfield posted the third best mark in the league in the same position as opposing quarterbacks managed just a 74 passer rating when throwing at him in the slot. Not only is Winfield effective in pass coverage but he is known as one of the best tacklers at the position in the league.

``He's fearless,'' defensive backs coach Kris Richard said of Winfield's tackling ability. ``... It's a complete disregard for sanity. He just plays the game the right way. That's what you appreciate about him.''

All four starters (Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas) have been selected to the Pro Bowl or have been an All-Pro pick in the last two seasons. Winfield's addition inside could be the final piece to truly cement Seattle's status as the best secondary in the league.

``What it means to us is that we feel like we can match up,'' coach Pete Carroll said. ``That we have no problem in any matchups, we have some great slot players that we have to play and those guys can match up and will be able to play man-to-man and we'll count on those guys to win their one-on-ones. I feel more confident now than at any time in the years we've been here with the depth and that kind of experience there.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group