Notebook: Winfield comparisons

Antoine Winfield could be close to signing an extension with the Vikings. The 32-year-old is already in limited company when it comes to aging cornerbacks currently starting in the NFL, and has the research to show the risk involved. Plus, Jared Allen was back with more entertaining comments on a variety of Vikings subjects.

If the Vikings do work out a contract extension with cornerback Antoine Winfield, his age would put him in the minority of starting cornerbacks in the NFL. The Vikings don't have a recent track record of extending the contracts of players into their late 30s, and a look around the league shows the different ages of the starting cornerbacks.

Winfield turned 32 last month and has one more year on his contract that will pay him $6 million this season. According to research from's Adam Caplan, out of the 64 projected starting cornerbacks in the league, only 15 are 30 years or older. That's 23.4 percent, and only eight starters (12.5 percent) are 32 or older.

"The Vikings have done studies, like most teams have, that cornerbacks that are over 30 generally start to break down physically and it's even more telling from 32-34. So signing him to an extension is risky," Caplan said.

Of the 15 players 30 years older that Caplan cited, six of them are 30. That includes former Viking Brian Williams (Jacksonville), Quentin Jammer (San Diego), Sheldon Brown (Philadelphia), Terence Newman (Dallas), Will Allen (Miami) and Andre Goodman (Denver). The latter three in that group will turn 31 before the end of the year.

Denver's Champ Bailey is already 31, and Winfield is part of a group of four starting cornerbacks in the league that are currently 32. He joins Dre Bly (San Francisco), Charles Woodson (Green Bay) and Anthony Henry (Detroit). Woodson and Henry will turn 33 during the season.

The 34-year-old club includes Shawn Springs (New England), Ronde Barber (Tampa Bay), Al Harris (Green Bay) and Nick Harper (Tennessee). Harper and Harris will turn 35 during the season.

The upshot of the research is that there are still some good cornerbacks in their early and mid 30s, but there are no starting cornerbacks in the league in their late 30s, which is likely a big reason the Vikings didn't extend Winfield before this point.


Defensive end Jared Allen continues to be asked about the prospects of Brett Favre joining the Vikings. On Wednesday, Allen reiterated an earlier stance during a radio interview with WHB in Kansas City.

"It's insane. If we can get him, let's get him. He's obviously a great player. It's kind of at that point in the offseason, we've got camp in less than a week and a half, and we need to know. I think that's the biggest thing for myself. I just want to know. I'm a huge fan of Brett Favre. I think he's a tremendous quarterback, just a tremendous overall football player. It's to the point though that we need to know. Let's get on with it because we've got things we're trying to do with the season. Our goals of our season are bigger than one man."

Allen also had some entertaining things to say about head coach Brad Childress' facial hair, calling it the cul-de-sac with a mustache. Allen said he has been trying to get Childress to go with a full beard, which he has done for short periods of time before relenting with a Magnum P.I. look, as Allen described it.

Allen called last year's training camp a "chill camp" and said the Vikings are a "phenomenal" organization with the positive energy that owner Zygi Wilf brings.

"We have a talented team and we do have high expectations. I think our expectations within our own organization are much higher than (those in) the public," he said, adding later that he believes the team should win a minimum of 11 games.

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