Antoine Winfield Deal With Seattle Official
By Liz Mathews
The Seattle Seahawks have confirmed that the deal with cornerback Antoine Winfield is now official.
“We had FedEx’d his contract and we had just received it back today,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider told local reporters at the team facility on Wednesday. “There was a death in the family; his wife’s grandfather who raised her had passed, so they went to the funeral. We FedEx’d it and just got it back today so that is why we haven’t released anything.”
Reports that that unrestricted free agent had agreed to terms with Seattle had first surfaced on April 12.
After his release this March by the Minnesota Vikings, the Winfield camp was thorough in the search for a potential new landing spot.
“His agent was very aggressive in reaching out to us and expressing Antoine’s interest in playing with this defensive backfield and our defense,” Schneider said. “He had a heard a lot of good things about the organization, and when you’re dealing with a player of his caliber you want to show as much respect as you possibly can to them and so we wanted to be careful in what kind of offers we were going to make, if anything.”
Winfield and his wife had then visited Seattle and the wooing process began. Winfield met with head coach Pete Carroll and discussed the team philosophy and expectations in Seattle. In the end, the Seahawks were able to sign the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback, further strengthening an already intimidating secondary.
“Yeah I think it’s a testament to coach Carroll and staff, and the way that they treat players as men,” Schneider said of the team’s ability to recruit free agents. “I think that has kind of gotten around the league, and the competition thing is real here. I think players also feel like they’re being put in positions to utilize their strengths.
“There were a lot of people that went out in free agency that didn’t necessary get what they were looking for financially with their off season goal, and so on our end we always take a lot of pride in staying in every deal, or trying to get in every deal as much as we can.”