Winfield contract negotiations stalled

Contract negotiations between Antoine Winfield and the Minnesota Vikings have stalled, according to the Pioneer Press. It shouldn't come as a surprise for those who followed a couple of "over-30" Vikings last year.

With all of the attention being paid to the Brett Favre angle over the last week, many other Vikings stories have been swept under the rug. Among them is the status of cornerback Antoine Winfield.

Prior to the draft, it was said that the team was in negotiations with Winfield to sign a contract extension. When the Vikings took cornerback Asher Allen on the third round, following the pick the line remained the same – we're still looking to sign Winfield long-term.

More than two weeks later, nothing has happened on that front. A story in the St. Paul Pioneer Press now suggests that no such talks have taken place nor are any planned.

It isn't known if any extensions of current contracts are contingent on whether or not the Vikings sign Favre, but given the team's recent track record of not signing players on the "wrong side of 30," it shouldn't come as a huge surprise. There were more than a few observers who were shocked that the Vikings didn't lock down Matt Birk prior to him entering the final year of his contract. Those same people were just as stunned when the team didn't make enough of an effort to re-sign him when free agency began. He eventually signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

The reality is that Winfield is 32 and is due $6 million this season. While he is important to the Vikings, it will be interesting to see how the team moves forward with his situation. A year ago, Darren Sharper was convinced something was going to be done with his contract and he was coming off a Pro Bowl season. The same is true with Winfield, who made his first Pro Bowl last season. Will the same scenario play out? Stay tuned.

  • The Vikings will be having a "You Made the Team" tour stop today in Marshall today that will include a luncheon attended by linebackers Ben Leber and Chad Greenway. Also in attendance will be owner Mark Wilf, who will undoubtedly be asked to comment on the Brett Favre situation.

  • Matt Birk went through his first minicamp with the Ravens and told the local media that getting in sync with QB Joe Flacco is his top priority. "It takes a while (to build chemistry), but that's what the offseason is for," Birk told the team's official web site. "Especially for me, starting with a new offense, I need to learn the way things are done around here. Obviously, (Flacco) and the other guys have been in this system for a year, so we need to make the most out of these camps."

  • From the "Piling On Department" comes this: The Raiders held their first minicamp last weekend and one of the bigger disappointments was wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who dropped three straight passes at one point and then sat out the afternoon practice with an injury the team refused to discuss. Heyward-Bey received comparisons to former Viking Troy Williamson by's Chris Steuber before the draft. At this point, anyway, the situation seems eerily similar.

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