Making a 180 and going back to the team that released you is always an option, and while Antoine Winfield, who despite his age is one of the best cornerbacks on the free agency market, is being courted by the Washington Redskins, there’s more than just a small chance he’ll return to the team he’s been with for most of his career and got cut from recently, the Minnesota Vikings.
For the teams, it was only a matter of money. Winfield, 35, was released because the numbers for 2013 weren’t something the team was willing to pay to someone who doesn’t have too many years left to play in the NFL. And still, Winfield has more than money on his mind when he thinks about the next team he’s going to play for.
There’s always the familiarity factor – playing in the same city, for the same fans, with pretty much the same staff around you. Winfield doesn’t mind the pay-cut he pretty much is forced to take; he knows it’s just business. But there are other things he has to consider, like the chances of the team he chooses to make it as far as possible next season, and what their aspirations are.
In that issue, the Redskins seem to have an edge over the Vikings when it comes down to who Winfield is going to choose. Despite being still in the dark about how good Robert Griffin III will be next season, the feeling is that the Redskins are a team on the rise, and have a brighter immediate future ahead of them. Things are a little bit different for the Vikings, who went only as far as Adrian Peterson took them last year, while not really making big improvements in the areas they needed, which means Christian Ponder is still not a quarterback who has the kind of weapons that will make him look great.
Eventually, it’s a matter of opinion, because Winfield isn’t going to be paid much on either team. It’ll fall down to who convinces him they’re more ready to make a run at more than just a decent regular season finish and an early postseason exit at best. Right now, the Redskins look like the better team to choose.