For a change, the Seahawks added to their roster by going up in age, not down, signing free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield, 36 in June, to a one-year deal Friday, according to ESPN.com.
A 14-year NFL veteran, the last nine with Minnesota, which released him in March, Winfield was a mainstay for a defense that helped the Vikings make the playoffs. He seems destined for a slot corner position, alongside returning vets Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner.
“It was a very tough decision for me because of the relationships that I have in Minnesota,” Winfield told ESPN. “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.
“I’m definitely excited about the opportunity to play in Seattle. They’re a great football team. Those guys did an excellent job last season. ”
A 5-foot-9, 190-pounder who was a first-round draft pick in 1999 out of Ohio State, Winfield was a Pro Bowl selection from 2008-2010, and last year started 15 of 16 games for the Vikings, contributing 71 tackles, 29 assists and three interceptions. He has started 173 games.
Pro Football Focus last season rated Winfield the top cornerback in the league against the run.
By releasing him, the Vikings saved $7.25 million, but Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he wanted him back.