Minnesota Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford wants his old teammate back.
Sanford told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he plans to talk cornerback Antoine Winfield out of retirement.
“I will most definitely call him and try and talk him out of retirement,” Sanford said Wednesday. “I’m pretty sure Coach Frazier isn’t going to call him or nobody at the top [of the organization] is going to call him. But I’m for sure going to reach out to him and see what he’s thinking.”
Winfield played nine seasons in Minnesota and told the Seattle Seahawks that he intends to retire after the team released him this last weekend.
“I know how much he loves the game,” Sanford said.
“As long as you’ve got a healthy 26 [Winfield’s number], you’ve got something there,” Sanford continued. “Things didn’t work out in Seattle for him. He would fit back right in here with no problem.”
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he reached out to Winfield via text message.
“Just to encourage him to be what he wants to be,” Frazier said about texting the former Viking. “If it’s retirement, good luck in retirement. If you ever want to talk, let’s talk about taking that next step after your career ends because it’s a big difference going from playing for 15 years almost to going back to being just a regular citizen. It’s a transition and a lot of players struggle with that transition.”
Winfield has played 14 NFL seasons. He has 27 interceptions, 14 forced fumbles, 116 passes defended and 7.5 sacks over his career.