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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Frazier texted Antoine Winfield, left door open for return

by Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said earlier in the week he would call former Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield to wish him well in his newly chosen retirement.

Frazier said Wednesday he didn’t call, but sent a text message to Winfield, who is likely living in the Houston area, where his son is going to high school, not in Eden Prairie, where Winfield would transition to once the NFL season began.

“We haven’t spoken, I really have no idea,” Frazier said about chances that Winfield comes out of retirement. “When a guy is retired, you got to let him go through what he’s going through. You don’t want to talk people out of retirement.”

Meaning Frazier likely won’t send people to Winfield’s doorstep like former Vikings coach Brad Childress, who sent former players like Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson to Brett Favre’s house to successfully coax him out of retirement.

Initially, when many thought Winfield would be living a stone’s throw from the practice field, a possible comeback to Minnesota didn’t seem so farfetched. Now that Winfield Jr. is going to school in Houston, it seems likely Winfield would keep the same offseason address instead of moving back to Minnesota.

Frazier said he told Winfield to call him if he ever wanted to talk.

“Just encouraging him to be what he wants to be, if retirement is what it is, good luck in retirement,” Frazier said. “If you ever want to talk, let’s talk about taking that next step after your career ends, because it’s a big difference going from playing 15 years almost to going back to being a regular citizen, it’s a transition and a lot of players struggle with that transition. If he ever wanted to talk about that, I’d be glad to have that conversation.”

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