Nov 25, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (26) reacts to being called for a penalty against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings' Sanford Trying to Talk Former Buckeye Antoine Winfield Out of Retirement

Antoine Winfield retired early this week. Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford doesn’t care. He wants him back with Minnesota.

Sanford told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he will “most definitely” call Winfield and try and get him to come back to the Vikings. “I’m for sure going to reach out to him and see what he’s thinking … As long as you’ve got a healthy 26 [Winfield’s number], you’ve got something there. He would fit back right in here with no problem.”

The former Buckeye had signed a one-year, $1-million deal with the Seattle Seahawks this offseason in hopes of chasing a championship, but retired when he was told he was probably not going to make the team. The 36-year old was also cut by the Vikings back in March so they could save $7.25-million in cap space, but with such a young defense, they’d probably welcome him back with open arms at a lower salary.

In his Buckeye career, Winfield was a two-time All-Big Ten Conference selection and was named team MVP after racking up 100 tackles as a junior in 1997. In 1998, Winfield would take his game to the next level, winning the Jim Thorpe Award and being named a First-Team All-American. Across four seasons with Ohio State, Winfield recorded 78 tackles, 22 tackles-for-loss, 29 pass break-ups and three interceptions.

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