The Redskins are out of contention to sign free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield, who is choosing between re-signing with the Minnesota Vikings and joining the Seattle Seahawks, according to an NFL Network report Wednesday night. The report cited an unnamed relative of Winfield’s.
ESPN reported Wednesday afternoon that Winfield was closing in on a deal with Seattle.
The 14-year veteran visited Redskins headquarters on March 27. Several outlets reported Winfield, 35, dined with Redskins brass and quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Washington has navigated free agency with little salary cap space because of an $18 million penalty imposed by the league and agreed upon by the players’ union. The Redskins have a league-low $29,949 in salary cap space as of Wednesday night, according to union records.
In order to sign Winfield, the club would have to create cap space by restructuring a player’s contract or releasing a player.
The Redskins’ dearth of cap space doomed their pursuit of free agent cornerback Aqib Talib earlier this offseason, according to several people with knowledge of that situation. Given their financial constraints, they have prioritized re-signing their free agents this offseason. Shortly after Winfield’s visit ended without an agreement, Washington re-signed No. 1 cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a one-year contract that counts only $1.25 million against the salary cap.
On the other hand, Seattle and Minnesota have more financial flexibility with which to entice Winfield. Seattle has $8.9 million in cap space, and Minnesota has $4.4 million. Winfield, a three-time Pro Bowler, has played the last nine seasons for the Vikings.