In a somewhat unexpected move the Minnesota Vikings have released star corner back Antoine Winfield. Although he played in all 16 games last season, Winfield is approaching his 36th birthday and was expected to be in a more limited role this season.
As Antoine Winfield was expected to make $7.25 million this season, all of which would count against the salary cap, the move frees up money to possibly sign other free agents. The NFL Free Agency period officially opened today as of 3:00 pm central time.
Spending nine season with the Vikings, Winfield started 115 games and managed 21 interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, 606 tackles and 11 forced fumbles for the team.
Now the Vikings will look to fill a few voids left behind from trading disgruntled Wide Receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks as well as the release of Antoine Winfield. With an abundance of draft picks in April's NFL draft including 2 in the first round, it's anyone's guess as to what General Manager Rick Spielman has planned for free agency.
Along with releasing Antoine Winfield today, the Vikings also re-signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson to a 1 year deal and re-signed offensive lineman Phil Loadholt to a multi year contract.