Where are they now? Isn’t that a segment usually reserved for retired players, making their way through life 10, 15, 20 years after they’ve finished competing on the football field?
Well today we’re talking “Where are they now?” in regards to Antoine Winfield, Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway. Like where are they right now?
Winfield? He’s in Seattle, engaging in a free agent visit today with the Seahawks. This comes two weeks after he enjoyed a similar visit with the Redskins and four weeks after he hit the open market upon being released by the Vikings in the hour before free agency began.
There’s not a ton new to report here other than the visit to Seattle itself. Whether Winfield finds the right fit with the Seahawks remains to be seen. In one way or another, it’d be a surprise if Winfield’s decision – one way or another – isn’t finalized by week’s end. But that he still hasn’t signed anywhere should leave the Vikings feeling at least somewhat encouraged that the 35-year-old cornerback may find his way back to Winter Park before this all said and done.
Winfield’s biggest priority in choosing where to play in 2013 revolves around finding a team that’s not only interested in him but also in position to contend for a championship. The cornerback isn’t solely interested in identifying the highest bidder. Though, at this point, the auction isn’t exactly escalating.
The Vikings move to cut Winfield was a salary dump, in order to wipe his $7.25 million salary for 2013 off the books. It was a move General Manager Rick Spielman deemed necessary to plunge into free agency the way he felt he needed to. The Vikings subsequently signed receiver Greg Jennings and Matt Cassel and worked to re-sign seven of their in-house free agents as well.
And since releasing Winfield, the Vikings have made it clear they’d be interested in a reunion if things were to ultimately lead that way. Coach Leslie Frazier has been Winfield’s most vocal supporter, in contact with the cornerback himself and making it clear that he’d be wanted and appreciated if he came back.
Last month at the NFL’s annual meetings in Phoenix, Frazier acknowledged Winfield's importance to the defense and the team's overall resurgence in 2012.
“He was the glue,” Frazier said. “The way that he was in our meeting rooms, at practice, his participation in the offseason program. He was one of those guys who had not been around a lot in the offseason. And he was at everything a year ago. So his influence, you can’t put a dollar figure on that. It made a big difference on our season and in the development of a lot of players as well.”
But for Winfield, it’s a tad more complicated than hearing such praise and running right back into the Vikings' arms. Being released as a cash casualty last month stung and made him feel unwanted, especially when that move came after he delivered one of his more brilliant seasons in 2012. He not only delivered 83 tackles, 11 for loss and three interceptions, he was an established and respected leader of a very young secondary.
Now he’s trying to determine what’s next and today’s stop through Seattle should provide a few more answers.
Only 180 miles away, Vikings Pro Bowlers Adrian Peterson and Chad Greenway are in Beaverton, Ore., at Nike headquarters today getting a sneak peek at the team’s new uniforms.
Yep, new unis. Fresh. Clean. Expected to have a bit of a retro feel to them.
But for those hoping that the visit by Peterson and Greenway will lead to a grand unveiling of the new attire soon, don’t hold your breath. The Vikings and Nike have opted to slow play the uniform reveal and the designs won’t officially be unveiled until April 25, the first night of the draft. The place for clues on the new uniforms: VikingsUniformInsider.com.
In a quote released by the Vikings on Twitter, Peterson said today, “From the helmet to the jersey to the pants, the guys are going to love it.” That’s the endorsement from the league MVP.
Stay tuned …