5 Minnesota Vikings who retired at the perfect time

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Antoine Winfield – Minnesota Vikings /

Antoine Winfield – CB

The Minnesota Vikings have suffered their fair share of disappointments at cornerback in recent years. But this cannot be said of the impact made by Antoine Winfield during his glittering spell with the organization.

The aggressive defensive back arrived from the Buffalo Bills in 2004 and immediately turned around the team’s fortunes in the secondary. Winfield had a rare blend of physicality and quickness that made him an outstanding contributor from day one. And getting him to the Vikings was a masterstroke by the front office.

Winfield was incredibly consistent throughout his career. He was a difficult proposition to get the better of over intermediate routes. And his ability to go down the field with speedy wide receivers is another element of his game that will live long in the memory.

The former Ohio State standout was still playing at a high level in 2015 before announcing his retirement. This was the perfect time for Winfield to hang up his cleats. And he will forever be remembered by those who were lucky enough to see him on the field in Minnesota.

His time with the Vikings ended with 21 interceptions, 74 pass deflections, 11 forced fumbles, 6.5 sacks, 45 tackles for loss, and 620 solo tackles. The three-time Pro Bowler developed a real affinity with the area, with son Antoine Winfield Jr. turning out for Minnesota in college before being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this year.