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Vikings cut Winfield but want him back for less

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have cut cornerback Antoine Winfield to save money under the NFL salary cap. General manager Rick Spielman confirmed Tuesday the release of the popular Winfield, whose hard-hitting style, extensive exp...

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (26) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. (19) in the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings have cut cornerback Antoine Winfield to save money under the NFL salary cap.

General manager Rick Spielman confirmed Tuesday the release of the popular Winfield, whose hard-hitting style, extensive experience and exceptional tackling ability made him the soul of the team's defense for the last nine seasons. Spielman declined to be specific but said the Vikings want to re-sign the 35-year-old if they can. Spielman said he spoke with the 15-year veteran and had "a very good conversation."

Winfield's playing time was reduced in 2012 to preserve his health, but he had one of the most productive seasons of his career with 11 tackles for loss, three interceptions and 13 passes defended. He was due a $7.25 million salary in 2013.

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