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Once released, Antoine Winfield wasn’t returning to Minnesota

Goldeon Tate, Antoine Winfield

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Antoine Winfield (21) covers wide receiver Golden Tate (81) during a drill at NFL football practice Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


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.”