Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield isn't ready to end his NFL career yet.
The 14-year NFL veteran has played his last nine seasons with the Vikings and has one year left on his contract. He at least plans to play that out.
"Without a doubt. I've got to get 15 (years) in. That's a good number," Winfield said.
Winfield is scheduled to make $7.25 million next year on the tail end of a renegotiated contract that he signed in 2009. Whether he is able to play at that salary or has to renegotiate again remains to be seen.
This year, he played in all 16 regular-season games and started all but one. He further cemented his status as one of the best tackling cornerbacks in the NFL, finishing fourth on the team with 114 tackles, including second in tackles for losses with 12. He also tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
Winfield played the final game of the regular season with a fractured bone in his right hand, but had to bow out in the second quarter when it severely swelled up. He made another go of it Saturday night in the Vikings' 24-10 wild-card loss the Green Bay Packers and made it through the game, although it wasn't without pain.
"It didn't feel good, but playoff game, a very important game for us, I was out there trying to do whatever I could and make some plays, but it held up alright," he said.
"It was tough because the way my hand was in the cast, it wouldn't bend all the way back. My hand placement was kind of off."
He didn't believe he would need offseason surgery to repair the hand.
"They let me know that it will heal on its own. No surgery or anything," Winfield said.
Winfield had four tackles against the Packers. It was his sixth time in the playoffs and he believed that with the roll the Vikings were on, having won four straight, they could have done more.
"We had that feeling. It's tough to go on the road and win, even though we won the last four, including against a really tough Packers team. They know us, we know them. They executed a lot better than we did," Winfield said.
"Defensively, we gave up 24 points. You can't do that on the road playing in a hostile environment. You have to tip your cap to the Green Bay Packers. They played real good football."
Winfield isn't the only one expecting his return. Teammates believe he still has some strong contributions in him.
"I feel like Antoine will at least come back for one more. This is Year 14 for him? I feel like 15 would be a nice, round number for him," cornerback Chris Cook said. "If he wants to go out next year, he'll probably go out. But I feel like he has at least two or three more years in him."
After 14 years, Winfield not done yet
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