If Antoine Winfield leaves for Seattle, who will be slot guy for Minnesota Vikings?

Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson (21) returns a kickoff by the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Antoine Winfield is reportedly torn between joining the Seattle Seahawks and returning with the Minnesota Vikings.

Even though the Vikings released Winfield back in March, there was hope the team could bring him back at a smaller salary. The soon-to-be 36-year-old Winfield had been due $7.25 million in base salary from Minnesota in the last year of his deal.

If Winfield jets for Seattle, the Vikings will need to find a slot cornerback for the 2013 season.

Sherels is not the answer

Marcus Sherels was the backup slot cornerback last season. When Winfield broke his hand toward the end of the season, Sherels stepped in to cover the slot. Opposing quarterbacks took advantage of the situation and successfully targeted Sherels.

Better home for Robinson

Josh Robinson worked primarily as an outside corner, even though his quickness and size is better suited as a slot corner. The rookie Robinson rarely practiced in the slot, especially when the team needed and rushed him to play minutes as an outside cornerback when Chris Cook went down with a broken arm in Week 8.

Robinson struggled in zone coverage on the outside late last season, which could be further proof that Robinson is best suited inside. With a full offseason ahead and a glaring need for a slot coverage guy, expect Robinson to see plenty of time there.

2013 NFL Draft

The upcoming draft is loaded with cornerbacks that suit well for Minnesota’s Tampa 2 cover scheme as an outside corner. One possibility for the slot is former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, AKA the ”Honey Badger.”

Mathieu would fit well as a primary slot corner and should be available in the second, third or fourth round. Mathieu reportedly visited with the Vikings during the team’s Top 30 meeting.

Topics: Antoine Winfield, Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels, Minnesota Vikings, Tyrann Mathieu

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