‘Hopefully, Bills lock me in after this season'

Here's an excerpt from Bills cornerback Antoine Winfield's column in the Sept. 21 issue of Shout!

I GUESS SOME fans have been concerned about the fact that Erniece and I sold our house in Orchard Park and are renting for this season, which I wrote about back in July. We had been looking for a place in Houston to make our off-season home, but we decided to hold off.

Anyway, I think people are reading too much into me selling my house. They're thinking that points to my intention of not wanting to stay in Buffalo after my contract is up in 2003.

Well that's not accurate. The truth is I don't know what's going to happen. This is a big business. I'm in my fourth year now. Hopefully, I have a good year and the Bills lock me in after this season. I'm not going to make any promises though.

Some guys never get to that last year in their contract. The team signs them to a contract extension before that. You would think that if a team really wants that player, it would give him a contract extension prior to the final year. My teammate Peerless Price, whom I was drafted with, is in the final year of his contract this year. You don't know what's going to happen.

Of course, with my circumstances, there are things that I don't know about, such as the Bills' salary cap situation. I don't follow that too closely. I don't know how everything fits in, or what the numbers are.

The simple fact is that, from a business perspective, if I'm not extended before I get into that final year, I'm not going to make any promises because it wouldn't be sensible to.


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