Vikings’ release of Antoine Winfield could be precursor for big free agency


Oct 21, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive back Antoine Winfield (26) against the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Cardinals 21-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Antoine Winfield is now set to be a free agent.

In a surprising move, the Vikings released Winfield, according to Tom Pelissero of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Winfield, 36, was due $7.25 million in base salary in the last year of his deal. With no bonus remaining on his contract, the team will add $7.25 million to cap space.

According to the report, the Vikings wanted him to restructure his contract but Winfield turned down the offer


According to the Star Tribune, Winfield was never offered a restructured contract.

The cap space gained in the release of Winfield could be used to re-sign tackle Phil Loadholt and fullback Jerome Felton. Minnesota is in great position to make a big free agent signing if they wanted.

There is a slight chance that Winfield becomes unimpressed with offers in free agency and may look to return to Minnesota. General manager Rick Spielman said during his press conference Tuesday that he is keeping the door open on the possibility of Winfield rejoining the team.