For most of the past decade and a half Antoine Winfield has been one of the league’s hardest hitting cornerbacks, and now he’ll bring his style, albeit aged a bit, to Seattle. The Seahawks need a replacement for Marcus Trufant, both because Trufant isn’t under contract with the team, and also because the longtime Seahawks corner simply hasn’t been very good for a couple years.
Last year the Seahawks were dominated by slot receivers and tight ends, and also fell victim to substantial rushing days from the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins. Part of Winfield’s allure is that he’ll be able to keep the Seahawks third linebacker off the field on some medium down-and-distance plays, which should expand that talent pool and reduce the required salary or draft pick compensation the Seahawks will have to forfeit to replace Leroy Hill. The other part is that you probably won’t see the likes of Wes Welker and Davone Bess going over the middle at their own will.
Winfield is 35 years old now. He’s two years removed from his third straight Pro Bowl appearance, and a full season removed from a broke collarbone that caused him to miss 11 games in 2011. In aging players we look for injuries and potential repetition of those injury. Generally speaking, a broken bone carries less chance of repeated injury than a torn tendon or ligament, but tell that to Rob Gronkowski, and don’t check the wall in my office for a medical degree. Collarbone injuries seem to be the kind of injury, for what it’s worth, that a player who plays like Winfield plays, especially at his size may be prone too, and thus more prone to repeating, but again, I’m no doctor.
The following video is a bunch of highlights from Winfield’s career. It’s worth pointing out that the video includes several hits that may have, but would most certainly today draw fines or penalties. It also includes hits and tackles that are legal, but also that Marcus Trufant would have no hope of making nowadays.
(Please note that this video has music in the background, and many critics may not like this music. Such critics should press mute on their chosen device now.)