Seahawks Insider

Winfield expected to sign with Seahawks

Post by Eric Williams on April 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm with 85 Comments »
April 12, 2013 5:00 pm

First reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Minnesota free agent defensive back Antoine Winfield reportedly has agreed to a one-year deal to become a Seattle Seahawk.

The Seahawks have not confirmed this report. Winfield, who turns 36 in June, visited with the Seahawks earlier this week, and reportedly decided between returning to Minnesota, signing with Seattle or Washington in free agency.

“It was a very tough decision for me because of the relationships that I have in Minnesota,” Winfield told Anderson. “I’ve been there nine years. I’ve had some really great coaches, teammates and fans there. I’m very grateful to the Vikings organization for my experience.”

Winfield also visited Washington. The Vikings released Winfield last month because he was due to make move than $7 million in base salary, but head coach Leslie Frazier wanted the veteran defensive back to return to the team.

With Seattle already settled at cornerback with Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman, the 5-9, 180-pound Winfield likely will be a nickel cornerback on passing situations.

NFL free agency
Leave a comment Comments → 85
  1. vichawkfan says:

    wow. awesome. Guessing it’s 3.5 million.

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Great! Now let’s sign a guard.

  3. Newborough says:

    That’s made my day. It was fun enough watching the defence do their thing all last season, so I can’t imagine how much I’m going to enjoy this version, with the improved pass rush and nickel coverage.

    If we can land another big-bodied DT and a fast WLB in the draft, then this group has the potential to be the best D in the NFL, by a country mile.

    Wow, is this exciting, or what?

  4. Wow! What an off season. I never could have guessed it would be so full of outstanding personnel moves.

    I apologize for this next thought – I hope we don’t turn out last years ‘dream team’ in Philadelphia!

  5. – turn out *like* last years dream team.

  6. Stoked on this pick up! This FO does not play around, they know what they want and for how much, and go get it (or wait for it to come to them). Absolutely love it. Is it September yet?

  7. grizindabox24 says:

    Think this means Mike Rob and/or McQuistan will be gone

  8. Great news! I will have fun teasing my Viking fan friends. I watched the vikes quite a bit before I got the Ticket. AW was the vikes most consistant defender and hardest hitter. I can safely say I have never been this excited for football to start!

  9. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    i wonder if he will make the team? my problem with this is what if a guy we have steps up?

  10. grizindabox24 says:

    Winfield will be the nickel corner…

  11. id hate to see mike rob go. Dude is a stud and a great vet in the locker room.

  12. banosser says:

    Wow… Can’t wait to see who JS/PC add in the draft.. I still hope they add a stud DT in the 2nd.. OLB in the 3rd.. OL in the 4th..

  13. vichawkfan says:

    Mike Rob? Why does this have any impact on our FB? Winfield might be our best CB now.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Nothing against Winfield, but I am surprised how excited many are here about a 35 year old nickel corner. Especially considering the young talent they have ready to compete for that position. Should he make the 53 I’m all for it, but I do find it odd.

    How does this equate to the teams only FB or one of their 4 guards being “gone”?

  15. grizindabox24 says:

    Hawks need to shed a little bit of payroll so they can roll about 6 million into next season, the most likely would be Mike Rob or McQ

  16. grizindabox24 says:

    Duke, If the Hawks had a guy on the roster that could play the slot, they would never have signed Winfield

  17. grizindabox24 says:

    Duke, would you rather have $$$ to extend Kam or Mike Rob/McQ

  18. vichawkfan says:

    Griz – I can see your speculation reasons, but lets not pretend to know the teams salary cap plans.

    Duke – maybe you haven’ t watched Winfield play. He’s 35 and playing at pro bowl level. He’ll make the team.

  19. grizindabox24 says:

    vichawkfan, it is not really that difficult to see what the Hawks need to rollover. Without 6 million, the Hawks salary cap will decrease next season.

  20. Southendzone says:

    #1: Don’t think this deal is anywhere near 3.5M I guess 2M tops
    #2: Don’t expect Robinson to be leaving due to this deal

  21. doesn’t seem like it’s even a question of whether he makes the team, but how much he will help in the slot.

    unreal off-season for the Hawks. never seen one quite like it.

  22. Dukeshire says:

    grizindabox24 – Those two things have nothing to do with one another. Moreover, Seattle *does* have corners that can play the slot, if unproven, but Seattle is trying to improve the known, there: that’s not in question. My surprise is in the excitement this has created here on the blog. Again, it’s odd to me considering the young talent that is already there. In short: I understand the signing, just not the fan reaction to the degree it is.

    vichawkfan – In fact I have watched him play, quite a bit. I like him. However, he’s not a prototypical fit for Carroll’s secondary. He struggles with press at times, he struggles with trail technique, and he’s not “long”. What he does bring to the table though is a tough nosed attitude, and that is a Carroll hallmark on the back end. So I get it. Let’s just not get caught off-guard if a 35 year old corner fails to make this final roster.

  23. I agree with those who have said they liked our DB depth before Winfield. I think the issue is that none of our existing DBs can play the slot / nickel role as well as Winfield can.

    So while I like this move and think it helps the team this season, I hope it won’t cause us to have to cut Lane, Maxwell or Guy.

  24. vichawkfan says:

    Duke telling fans he thinks we’re over reacting to moves made by the team because his talent evaluation is superior to everyone else…. Ok, my last post here forever. The Duke has spoken. What a drip.

  25. WilliamPercival says:

    First off, Mike Rob ain’t goin nowhere. He’s too versatile and a team leader. Don’t forget the dude was pro bowl just 2 yrs ago and fringe for 2 in a row. Also, I don’t know what I would do with myself with the Real Rob Report…!

    I believe that the Hawks have their eyes on a pass rush/pass defending WLB in the draft which will be complemented well by Antoine’s strength at the line. Watch for it..

    Oh, and McQ ain’t goin nowhere either. Look for the cuts to start next year. Watch for it…

  26. WilliamPercival says:

    Winfield’s 1 yr deal is worth $3mil

  27. Dukeshire says:

    vichawkfan – Calm down, that’s not at all what I’m saying. Good lord, isn’t anyone entitled to a harmless opinion, albeit contrary, around here anymore?

  28. Barring injury he’ll make the team. My guess is his salary is somewhere in the 1.5 to 2M with maybe some real stretch incentives. And with it being a 1 year deal it doesn;t really hurt the cap at all next year. Think of it as a replacement for Tru with a guy that probably has a little more lateral quickness to cover the slot.

    Now if we can draft for LB, DT and some depth (RB, OL, LB, and QB imo) we’ll have a really, really good opportunity this season. Just keep the fingers crossed that we stay healthy.

  29. HonHawksLSB says:

    Is the rest of the league asleep at the wheel?

    Vich I think you are spot on, probably took $3.5mm to pry him away from the Vikes.

    Just for 1 season I’m ok being the Seahawkings. Thank you GM for Vikes!

  30. grizindabox24 says:

    looks like a 1-year $3mil for Winfield

  31. grizindabox24 says:

    WLB is not a fulltime player, maybe 35-40% of the plays…nickel is a more important position. Hawks have no problem leaving KJ in on passing downs, meaning WLB not as big of a deal as some may think

  32. Dukeshire says:

    I think that’s the interesting thing about Wagner and Wright: each can play Mike and Sam in base, then rotate over to Will and Mike in nickel, respectively. Because it’s actually the strong side ‘backer (Sam) that comes off in nickel. So while not typical scheme-wise, Seattle has the option to keep their Sam on the field in nickel packages (albeit at MLB).

    Typically, WLB *is* a 3 down player, but Seattle’s personnel has the potential to flip the script, yest again…

  33. Kingpear says:

    Duke…. No, you are not allowed a contrary opinion to the sycophants on the blog. ;)

    I expect him to make the 53. Two reasons really… Veteran depth, and when was the last time you signed someone off (essentially) someone else’s roster and not expect them to mak the final cut. JS is more shrewd than that.

  34. freedom_X says:

    I hope that Winfield brings more playmaking to the inside slot coverage role. People were often criticizing Trufant for giving up completions as the inside guy, but it’s practically impossible to shut down the short inside stuff.

    But Trufant didn’t make many plays on the ball as the inside guy, which was a bit disappointing given his experience. So I’m not looking for Winfield to necessarily shut down the inside, since hardly anyone can do that. But if he sees 40+% of the defensive snaps, I hope he’ll come up with 3-4 picks and double digit pass breakups.

  35. Ewalters7354 says:

    Duke, what do you feel were a few problems in pass coverage last year?My opinion was Wagner’s inexperience along with KJ still growing.Tru got beat constantly last year, so if Winfield makes the team I believe he’ll help.But did you catch anything I may have missed?

    P.S. I asked Duke but would love everyone’s take…

  36. freedom_X says:

    As far as guard goes, Sando’s article reminded me about J.R. Sweezy. Consider that Sweezy never played O-line before this year. Though he had struggles, he also played solidly for stretches as well, which shows he has the tools and raw ability to play guard.

    If Sweezy continues to develop, then he could well be an answer at guard. He could be the “2013 draft pick” taken a year early to help the guard position.

    Unlike some people, I’m not convinced that James Carpenter proved himself unable to play right tackle – there’s not enough evidence. I wouldn’t be against moving a 100% healthy Carpenter back to right tackle, since I’m not totally sold on Giacomini as a long term answer.

    At any event, I’d be looking for some talent at the tackle spot vs. guard, if I had to make a choice between them.

  37. HonHawksLSB says:

    I’m totally stoked to the max about it!

    The #1 reason our pass D got killed last year was because our Nickel and Dime cover units got smoked on 3rd down. All year long we struggled on 3rd and medium to 3rd and long, we were actually better in 3rd and short situations. To me that means our nickel and dime corners sucked And needed to be upgraded.

  38. Dukeshire says:

    Ewalters7354 – In Tru’s defense (and I freely admit, I’ve never been a big fan…) it was his first time ever playing the slot. Might not seem like a big deal to most, but it is a new position he was asked to play (on the back end of his career, mind you), so I’m not terribly surprised he struggled at times. And to be clear: he gave up *many* first downs. So yes, an upgrade is needed there (as evidence, Seattle’s not extended an offer to Tru, that I’m aware of).

  39. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    duke couldn’t agree more on this. the problem isn’t he is 35 it is he will be 36 in june.
    guy is 5’9 180 pounds, small for this squad. everyone and anyone was surprised he made it thru 16 games last season.
    veteran presence is fine but not at the expense of youth getting game experience. will he being on the team help? maybe. the only thing i can figure is the front office thinks the team needs him to keep the youth in check?
    i still believe if someone else steps up he will be gone before the season starts. you don’t give a 36 year old reps that a 23 year could handle well.

    only time will tell

  40. Ewalters7354 says:

    Duke, I understand that and agree with your assessment.But do you think LB play in coverage struggled as much as nickle back?

  41. HawkyHann says:

    Winfield is going to dominate. Sure tackler and consistent…unlike Thurmond. Thurmond is done.

  42. Tru was not seen as a “bad” player last season, but really a good one. SEA was counted lucky to have him to cover the slot receiver. One difference between Tru and AW in slot coverage was QBs targeting Tru’s receiver had an NFL rating of 92.6 while QBs targeting AW’s receiver had an NFL rating of 73.6. Remember, Tru only played in slot 3 times in ’11, Roy Lewis played there the most for SEA, followed by WT3.

    Playing in slot/nickle Tru allowed a TD and got no picks – AW allowed no TDs and got 2 picks in ’12. Another difference between Tru and AW in ’12 was their pass rush productivity (PRP). AW rushed the passer 18 times and got 2 sacks and 3 hurries, while Tru rushed the passer 16 times and got 3 hurries.

    Another thing in AW’s favor is that AW played 1106 snaps (422 in slot) in ’12 and Tru played 407 snaps (252 vs slot). About the other SEA CBs, WT3 played 29 snaps in slot coverage, Lane 49, Sherman 19, Maragos 3 and Browner 8 times. Another difference between Tru and AW from last season was AW was better defending the run. Where stops constitute a “loss” for the offense, the % of stops per snap played only in run defense, AW’s was 7.3% and Tru’s was 5.3%.

    Because Tru had no missed tackles and AW missed 5, Tru’s tackling efficiency (combined vs run and pass) was better than AW’s in ’12. Still, Tru played every game in ’03, ’04, ’07, ’08, and ’10, and only missed 1 game in ’05 & ’06, 4 games in ’12 and 5 games in ’09. ’11 was Tru’s lost season, playing in only 4 games. He seems to be over his back issues of ’09 and ’11, and I for one will miss one of the last players from the ’05 team. Wish him the best.

  43. HawkyHann says:

    Anyone else from MN we can snatch? They signed Carlson last year…hilarious

  44. Youth is great. I get it. But AW is special even at 36. There is nothing to indicate that Lane or Guy will ever be pro bowl caliber players like AW has been and is still IMHO.

  45. Ewalters7354 says:

    Thurmond is done? Wow! I think he’ll compete and show why Pete loves him.If he fails to make it through this season, I think he’ll be out.He is a free agent after this year right? Klm?

  46. bbnate420 says:

    vichawk, you’re acting like a spoiled, little 5 year old brat. If you can’t handle a differing opinion, you won’t be missed by me. Duke was hardly condescending.

    I highly doubt JS/PC sign Winfield if they think it means losing a young, core player in the future.

    I guess releasing McQ is a possibility, but I wouldn’t expect them to do it before they find a replacement in the draft. I don’t it to happen period actually, unless the other 3 OGs come up big in TC and they drafted or signed another OT.

    Saying that Mike Rob will be released because of this makes absolutely ZERO sense. He’s the only FB on the roster. He’s both a pro bowl FB and pro bowl special teams player. He’s only making 2.5 mil. If they sign a different FB going into at least his 4th year, they have to pay him a minimum of 715K.

  47. bbnate420 says:

    Thurmond is a UFA after 2013.

  48. HawkyHann says:

    Not even Thurmonds Kid N Play haircut will save him. Jeremy Lane is the young unproven guy who im keen on.

  49. Yup 2014 is WT3’s FA, so this year is his contract year. If cut now his dead cap would be $125,875. His cap hit this season is $755,875.

  50. WiscCory says:

    Okay, I’m usually a step behind JS and PC on personnel, however I guarantee you that all 3 of us agree the M-Rob will be on this team in 2013 and longer. Give me a break people….

  51. WiscCory says:

    BobbyK is from Minn – which just got dumped on with a foot of snow. He can give this forum a good summary of Winfield’d contributions against the run and in the slot.

    If the ink hits ths contract, it’s a great signing for the Hawks!

  52. Dukeshire says:

    Ewalters7354 – I do. Wagner reminded me a bit of Hawthorne, in coverage. I presume however that he’ll improve in coverage as that was his first season in the middle, and he was a rookie (with all the adjustments that entails). Wright is a different story: I’m not confident he’ll ever be more than capable in coverage. Which for a Sam is fine, so long as he’s a down hill player, which he is. But no question, there is (or has been) some liability on the strong side from the LB. Every defense has a weakness and I’m not certain that this particular defensive personnel group won’t always be subject to issues in coverage on the strong side, from the LB. This scheme seems vulnerable to that, to me. (Of course, getting to the QB more quickly negates ll of that…)

  53. Ewalters7354 says:

    Couldn’t agree more.Thanks Duke.

  54. HawkyHann says:

    Is Chad greenway expendable? I’d like to take him from MN too

  55. PFF’s stat for ranking 4-3 OLBs in coverage is how many times they are the primary man in coverage compared to how many receptions they allow. Would you believe that Leroy Hill ranked #1 with 14.1 snaps per reception?

  56. Thurmond – moving forward – is the second best CB on this team. LMAO at the comments that he sucks or is done.

    Copy/paste this… for 6 months into the future. I’ll stake my “reputation” (even though I post under a different name when I don’t have the guts to say what I really feel – lol)…

  57. BobbyK – guess that assumes he’s healthy?

  58. Already wrote an article about that. :)

  59. WiscCory – Yes. We got hammered w/snow!

  60. HonHawksLSB says:

    Wagner was awesome in coverage the last 6 games of the year. He had 3 picks and it should have been 4, remember that personal foul ET had on Tannehill. That play ended in a pick by Wagner.

    Wagner also had a pick in the playoffs Against Atl. That would be a whopping 5 picks in 8 games. I don’t think Hawthorne has 5 career picks…. Now I sound like Sherman vs. Revis, oh well.

    Klm thanks for those stats on AW, he has been doubted and disrespected his entire career and all the guy does is produce.

    PS… 7 career picks for Hawthorne

  61. HawkyHann says:

    Are we going off past history, stats, or just plain gut feelings?

  62. HawkyHann says:

    Bobbyk- can you repost your article on Matt Flynn from last year?

  63. HawkyHann says:

    nice, thanks Bobby

  64. grizindabox24 – I’m sorry but you lost all credibility for suggesting that Mike Rob will be released because we signed Winfield.

    What does one have to do with the other? Who’s gonna play FB then?

    Btw, I would much rather have Real Rob than AW.

    He and Beast form the heart and soul of the team, the smash mouth ground and pound running game.

  65. Dukeshire says:

    HonHawksLSB – Nor has Wagner collected 5 picks in a season. Yet. My point is, that Wagner was a rookie and is improving, while Hawthorne (with 3 picks and 6 passes defended his last year in Seattle, BTW) had reached his ceiling. In short, while inadvertently, you’re helping prove my point.

  66. Does it seem to anybody else that with AW we get a little bitta Josh Wilson back – only moreso?

  67. Thurmond hasn’t played a full season since 2007. (in college)
    That’s 5 years ago. Good luck.

  68. I’m already looking forward to reading about the camp battles between Wilson and this now even deeper Seahawks secondary. I feel bad for the QB’s and WR’s whom are battling for backup positions – it’s going to be rough out there this year.

  69. Want to know why we get excited for a soon to be 36 yo slot corner? Check out what our friends from Seahawk Draft Blog had to say.

    “Pro Football Focus ranked Winfield as the NFL’s #1 run defense corner last year and also noted that he did not allow a touchdown in the passing game all season…

    Last year- Winfield’s age 35 season- he had 101 tackles. As a corner. To put that in perspective, rookie sensation Lofa Tatupu had 104 tackles. As a middle linebacker. In Winfield’s fully healthy seasons he’s posted the following tackle numbers: 101, 91, 95, 97, 98, 107, and 80. You’d think a 101 tackle season for a corner would have to be a fluke, but it turns out it’s not. Tackles are a flawed stat and can be a negative indicator for a corner since it implies being targeted more frequently.”

    Tru served us well, but lost a step the last few years. Thurmond could be nice, but has battled injuries. Lane is the one that needs to rise up to the challenge, but Winfield is definitely unique.

    I love the way he hits people. Not dirty at all, just hits hard and stops guys in his tracks.

    On paper, this defense is absolutely incredible and our offense is going to get better having to play against them every day in practice. I can hardly wait.


  70. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Thanks joreb.
    That pretty much says it all why I’m excited to see the Seahawks sign Winfield.
    Leadership, experience and toughness,( as well as his talent, even though he is in the mid 30s ), he will be great to add to our young secondary,( even if it is for a short period ) imo.

  71. WiscCory says:

    Speaking of LBs and interceptions, Chicago radio was discussing how last season Man tie teh owww (give me a break of the spelling – going for phonics here) had 7 picks…and Mike Singletary had 7 in his career.

    The discussion stemmed on pass coverage vs. run stopping linebackers.

    Bears fans are high on Teo, and hoping to get him at #20.

  72. tchristensen says:

    Although I believe this could be a good signing, Winfield is a hamstring injury away from the end of his career.

  73. Georgia, you mentioned leadership. I have a feeling that our front office thinks AW will be a great mentor for our young db’s.

  74. tchristensen says:

    I also feel McQuistan could possibly be released as he looks to be the one who takes Omiyale’s spot at the back up tackle and I’m not sure the FO will be willing to pay over 3 million for a back up tackle. We’ll see.

  75. tealskin says:

    The beauty(?) of McQ. is his ability to be a quality backup at every position except center. Thats not a bad thing. Sounds like a great thing.

  76. I too was surprised (and a bit horrified) to hear the Hawks are gonna pay Winfield, a 35+ year old 5′-9″ 180 lb nickel back, $3 million this year. One, thats a lot of money for a small old dude. Risky. Two, I thought we were stockpiling money to sign Kam and some others. All In for 2013 I guess…

    While Winfield is awesome vs the run, he isnt awesome vs the pass anymore. And third and long in the nickel was one of our biggest weaknesses last year; Im not sure how this fixes that problem at all.

    To me, this shows JS and PC are far from sure that Lane, Maxwell, Guy, or Thurmond can be counted on to man the nickel position. This is most definitely a sign they arent leaving anything to chance there, and that they arent sure those young guys will be ready to step up this year.

    And that is disappointing.

    At least they are trying to cover all the bases. Myself, I would rather have signed an NFL-caliber RG or RT with that money and trusted to the young guys. But whatever, thats why they are the pros and I sit here commenting online like a typical armchair GM…

  77. I never wanna see another sentence start “The beauty of McQ…” lol! baaarf!

    The guy is a backup stopgap player who makes too much money. But since he knows the system, he’s making out like a bandit. I will be happy as hell when he finally gets pushed to the bench. Its actually my biggest irritant on the team, that we still havent filled the LG and RG slots with above-average (or even average) talent, and we’ve been trying since 2006!

    As a backup, he’s great. As a starter, he’s a sign your team is in trouble.

  78. tealskin says:

    As for Winfield, seems like the onfield coach kind of player. Could be a huge difference maker playing in a backfield with two young LBs. He brings a dimension that WT3, or Lane can’t, yet. Tru had experience but not in position. Now its just waiting to see if AW can still bring it. Smart players can compensate for some fade (Lawyer Milloy for example) and elevate players around them.

  79. tealskin says:

    STTBM, can feel your pain re: guard positions but I having some trust in Cable may be called for. Moffitt, Sweezy, and Carpenter are all young and inexperienced. Out of that group I’m guessing at least 1 or 2 step up and are good, if not better. Give them another season to ripen.

  80. HonHawksLSB says:

    Hamstring injury? Really man?? AW has only missed 18 out of 80 regular season games since turning 30. Due to a broken collar bone and a broken hand, aka freak injuries.

    Found this quote from the Vikings DCordinator from last year.

    “I would say, “Wow,'” Williams crowed. “Captial ‘W.’ Capital ‘O.’ Capital ‘W.’ Wow.” Winfield had a team-high 10 tackles, three of them for losses, and an interception in the Redskins loss. Don’t even try a screen pass to his side of the field. Pro Football Focus rates Winfield the top cornerback in the NFL in a season which has seen Darrelle Revis, Brent Grimes, and Lardarius Webb go down for the count.

  81. beavercleaver says:

    All the arguing over CB. It will work itself out in camp PC will keep the best and toss the rest. We’ll have quality starters and depth.
    I’m still concerned about LB and DT. We only have 2 starters and very little depth. IMO we still don’t have a run stopping DT. T. McDaniel was not an adequate replacement for Branch. Bennett won’t be a 3 down lineman. Maybe tose are our draft goals.
    I’ll tell you one thing, this will be a hard team for the rookies to make.

  82. Just sign already!!!

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