While everyone else has been immersed in waiting for Brett Favre to bestow his savior-like presence upon Purple Nation, Antoine Winfield has been sitting around wondering why he still doesn’t have a contract. And getting more and more pissed about it. Winfield finally decided to talk about the affair, telling the Pioneer-Press:
I didn’t expect to be in July without a deal. Personally, I’m a little disappointed. They consider me a core player, but they’re not showing me that.
The Vikings had been negotiating an extension with Winfield, whose contract expires after the 2009 season, but those talks broke down months ago and there has been no new movement reported since. Winfield has reacted to the situation by skipping out on all off-season activities so far, including mandatory minicamp (he said he was attending a funeral).
Now Winfield has suggested that more reactions could be in the offing. “If they want me here, they should be able to get a deal done,” he said. “There shouldn’t be a problem. If they don’t, then they need to say that and let’s work toward a resolution that works out good for everyone.”
The fact that the team began negotiating with Winfield then broke it off would seem to suggest that they do want him back. Then again, situations sometimes change. It could be that the Vikings have earmarked the money they would’ve paid Antoine for some other purpose – paying an aging former Pro Bowl quarterback for instance – and Antoine is just SOL.