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I returned from a brief holiday respite Monday morning to read some interesting comments from Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield, who for the first time expressed serious doubts about his long-term future with the team.
In an interview with Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Winfield said he is "unhappy" that his contract has not been extended and said he might move his family to Houston after the season in anticipation of playing elsewhere in 2010. He wouldn't say for sure if he will report to training camp later this month, and in his most pointed comment, Winfield said he wants a resolution -- of some kind -- soon.
Winfield: "If they want me here, they should be able to get a deal done. There shouldn't be a problem. If they don't, then they need to say that and let's work toward a resolution that works out good for everyone."
Does that mean he wants to be traded if the Vikings don't extend his deal? Winfield wouldn't say. But he made clear he doesn't consider the Vikings' contract offer commensurate with their public proclamations of his value to the team.
Winfield made his first Pro Bowl team last season, but the Vikings probably have some concerns about his age (32) and the wear-and-tear of 10 NFL seasons on his 5-foot-9 frame.
Much of Winfield's comments can be read as typical posturing from a veteran in a contract situation. But it's also become clear the Vikings aren't ready to break the bank on his deal, especially considering the possible $10 million-plus contract they likely will give to quarterback Brett Favre later this month. As a result, the situation bears watching.
Continuing around the NFC North on a post-holiday morning: