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Report: Antoine Winfield to Visit Redskins

Free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield will visit the Redskins on Wednesday.

Jim McIsaac

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday that former Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield will be visiting the Redskins on Wednesday.

It has also been reported that the Redskins and those over in Winfield’s camp have been talking for two weeks, which could mean it’s possible that Winfield walks out of Washington D.C. with a brand new contract.

Given the Redskins dire need of talent in the secondary as well as a horrific salary cap situation, acquiring a stopgap corner like Winfield is one of the better things the Redskins could do, in addition to grooming young talent on the current roster as well as future talent from the draft.

Winfield will be 36 years old in June, but has proven he can still play at a high level in the twilight of his very good NFL career. Last season with the Vikings, Winfield tallied 100 combined tackles and three interceptions, while allowing quarterbacks to throw for a rating of just 70.4 against him.

Winfield also earned Pro Football Focus’ highest grade among cornerbacks in 2012, although that was mostly because he graded far above the rest of his competition in the run game. It should also be mentioned that his coverage grade of +7.0 placed him 19th among qualifying cornerbacks.

Unless father time catches up with Winfield all at once, the Redskins would be getting a hard-nosed defensive back who also has proven himself in the slot, a position that they struggled to find consistency in a season ago. Winfield could provide just that and be a moving piece for Jim Haslett, as well as a high-character veteran in the locker room.

As it has been stated ad nauseum, the Redskins cap situation is going to force them to get creative to remain competitive. That could mean not finding the permanent solution at cornerback, but relying on one-to-two-year rentals until they can appropriately address the need. And until that day comes, inking a guy like Winfield (at the right price) would be a good first step in getting there.