Still Trying To Lock Up Antoine

antoinewinfield

In a conference call with season ticket holders, vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman said that talks are ongoing with pro bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield.  If you recall, talks have been going on since about one month before the draft.  One has to wonder how the presence of rookie Asher Allen will affect the negotiations, and if the Vikings are going to play hard ball with Winfield in similar fashion to how they handled the Pat Williams situation a couple years back.

Winfield is no spring chicken, but he seems to be a player that as really thrived under the guidance of Leslie Frazier.  Last year was his first pro bowl appearance ever after he made multiple game-changing plays during prime-time and very competitive games. 

A couple of things that could play into the negotiations with Winfield are his age, the projected cost of a franchise tag in 2011, his trade value, and the fact that the Vikings could only expect a 5th round compensation pick if they let him leave as a free agent because he is over 30.

Spielman also said that the Vikings were starting talks with other players that are entering the last year of their contract.  The other players who will see their contracts expire after this season are Ryan Cook, Ray Edwards, Eric Frampton, Artis Hicks, Tarvaris Jackson, Garrett Mills, Chester Taylor, and Kenechi Udeze.  Charles Gordon, Karl Paymah, Benny Sapp, and Glenn Holt will also see their contracts expire next season, but since they just recently signed one year contracts, and extension seems extremely unlikely at this point.

One can imagine that extensions for Winfield, Taylor, Edwards, and Hicks are probably at the top of the priority list.

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