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Jets sign Antoine Winfield

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  • Jets sign Antoine Winfield

    Winfield deal includes $10M signing bonus

    He was wined and dined, and now unrestricted free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield is about to be signed by the New York Jets as well.

    The five-year veteran, ESPN.com has confirmed, has reached agreement in principle with the Jets on a six-year deal worth $30 million and including a $10 million signing bonus. The contract will pay Winfield $18 million in the first three years of the deal.


    Some detail still need work to complete the contract, but all of the significant elements are agreed upon, and the Jets are expected to introduce the newest addition to a rebuilding defense at a Friday news conference.


    Despite grabbing just six interceptions in five seasons, Winfield, 26, was regarded as one of the top corners at the deepest position in free agency. The former Buffalo Bills first-rounder will step into the void created by the release of veteran Aaron Beasley last week.


    The Jets, it seems, were not about to let Winfield escape their complex without agreeing to a contract. They hosted Winfield and agent Richard Katz on Wednesday evening for a lavish dinner, and negotiations went late into the night. The two sides resumed discussions on Thursday and made enough progress that Winfield delayed a scheduled flight to Minneapolis, where he was to have visited with Minnesota Vikings officials.


    The Houston Texans were also pursuing Winfield and, during the course of negotiations with the Jets, continued to try to contract him on his cell phone.


    Winfield lacks prototype cornerback stature but, at 5-feet-9 and 180 pounds, plays bigger than his size and is known for his aggressive approach to the game. His one shortcoming is a lack of big plays, as evidenced by his interception total, but that didn't seem to scare off any of his suitors.


    The franchises that liked Winfield in free agency pointed out that opponents didn't often throw his way, but in fact the former Ohio State star does not have good hands and does not often jump in front of a pass route. The 23rd overall player chosen in the 1999 draft, Winfield has 409 tackles, one sack and 60 passes defensed.


    He has started in 49 of his 63 appearances.

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  • #2
    Excellent move. They never really were able to replace Aaron Glenn when they were forced to expose him in the expansion draft because of a cap overrun.

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    • #3
      I truly believe the Jets can be a good team. Penningtonameth has to stay healthy and play the whole season. That's the most critical factor, I think.
      First Fan of the Halifax IceBreakers!

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      • #4
        Winfield waffles on Jets, heads to visit with Vikings

        The hottest cornerback prospect on the market is still very much on the market despite reports that he has agreed to a deal with the Jets.

        SportsLine.com has learned that CB Antoine Winfield has boarded a private jet and headed to Minnesota to meet with the Vikings rather than remain in New York to finalize a contract with the New York Jets.

        Sources close to Winfield also told SportsLine.com that Vikings head coach Mike Tice and offensive stars Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper personally phoned Winfield asking him to visit the Vikings before he made a decision on a final offer.

        It was reported that the Jets would introduce Winfield at a Friday news conference, which would be pretty darn tough to do if he was in Minnesota. He was also scheduled to visit the Texans, and Miami also held an interest in the 5-foot-9 corner.

        Winfield was the Bills first-round pick in 1999 and started every game but one in which he played during the past three seasons. Although he didnt have a lot of interceptions during his career, he is regarded as a terrific cover corner and outstanding overall defensive back.

        Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cotrell was Winfields coordinator during his rookie season in 1999 in Buffalo.

        Official Sponsor of the National League Three-Peat.

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