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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Antoine Winfield retires, shuts door on comeback talk

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com

Talk escalated quickly on Saturday afternoon when news leaked that former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield was about to be cut by the Seattle Seahawks.

Instinctively, fans and media speculated a potential return for Winfield to the team he dedicated nine years to. But as quickly as the chatter came, it subsided when Winfield announced his retirement.

“Wishing Antoine Winfield the best in his decision to retire,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll wrote via Twitter. “He’s a consummate pro and a great team player.”

Winfield, 36, was released by the Vikings this offseason, in part to reportedly make salary cap room to sign right tackle Phil Loadholt to a larger, four-year, $25 million deal.

In 2013, Winfield would have been due $7.25 million in base salary. His potential return would have been a win-win for the team, as they’d regain his leadership and experience in the secondary while likely paying him much less.

However, that won’t happen as long as Winfield sticks with his announcement.

The Vikings cut their roster to 53 on Saturday and will roll the dice with Chris Cook, Josh Robinson, Xavier Rhodes, A.J. Jefferson and Marcus Sherels at cornerback.

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