The Minnesota Vikings hoped to bring back Antoine Winfield at a reduced cost after they released him. In the end, money wasn't the biggest factor in the veteran cornerback's decision.
NFL free agency is under way. Follow all of the latest rumors and signings in our free-agent tracker. More...
Winfield accepted a one-year contract worth $3 million with $1 million guaranteed from the Seattle Seahawks on Friday, a source involved in the process told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. The Vikings offered him a similar contract with more guaranteed money, but Winfield decided to take his talents to the Pacific Northwest.
Rapoport learned there were some emotions involved for Winfield after he was cut by the Vikings. Winfield wanted to retire as a Viking and make Minnesota his permanent home, but he and his family now will live in Houston. He even contemplated retiring when he was released. A chance at winning a possible Super Bowl title with the Seahawks ended up playing a factor in Winfield joining the team.
The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos also inquired about Winfield's services along with the Seahawks, Vikings and Washington Redskins. The Seahawks probably are the best fit since Winfield, an elite run-defender who has lost a step of downfield speed, can play close to the box in the slot with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner on the outside, not to mention Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor at safety.
The Vikings took a cost-cutting risk and lost. Now they should be in the cornerback market at the draft.