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Vikings trying to bring back Antoine Winfield after cutting him

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

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Antoine Winfield missed eight tackles and allowed zero touchdowns in coverage last season. (USATSI)

Antoine Winfield was blindsided when the Vikings released him six days ago, according to reports.

It was an awkward departure. The 14-year veteran, coming off a season in which he graded out as the NFL's top corner, was working out at Winter Park when general manager Rick Spielman summoned him upstairs to cut him.

But it might not be too late to patch things up. ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reports the Vikings have talked to Winfield's agent about bringing him back, and that the 14-year veteran “has gotten over the initial shock of the decision and apparently is willing to listen.”

"I'm hoping that we can figure out a way to get him back here," coach Leslie Frazier told the station. "So, I'm hoping that it's not goodbye yet.

"Him and I talked a few days ago, before I came up here, and I don't want the door to be shut," Frazier added. "So, we're going to still try to get something worked out -- if he's amicable to coming back."

Winfield was scheduled to earn $7.25 million this season, a number too high for the Vikes. He'll certainly want to test his market value and has visits lined up with other teams.

The 35-year-old was the league's best run-stopping corner in 2012, according to Pro Football Focus. He made 71 tackles, intercepted three passes and defended 12 more while not allowing a touchdown in coverage.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Winfield played the past nine seasons in Minnesota after five years in Buffalo.

If Minnesota can't persuade him to come back, the team would be extremely thin at corner, with Chris Cook, Josh Robinson and A.J. Jefferson the leading options.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Larry Hartstein @LarryHartstein.

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