Winfield, Redskins share ‘high mutual interest’

The Washington Redskins remain interested in signing veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield despite bringing back DeAngelo Hall at a reduced salary, a person with knowledge of the situation said. Two others, however, questioned whether the salary cap-strapped Redskins had a realistic shot at landing Winfield.

“There is high mutual interest,” said one person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak on behalf of the Redskins. “Re-signing Hall didn’t change that.”

The re-signing of Hall — who, after being released in March to save $8 million, on Monday agreed to a one-year deal that is believed to be worth just more than $2 million — didn’t come as a surprise to Winfield and his camp. The person said that if anything, the move made Washington more attractive to Winfield, who is entering his 15th NFL season.

“At this point in his career, [Winfield] wants to win, and [Washington] has made moves to further solidify the roster, and re-signing Hall only helps. Their games complement each other,” the source said.

The Redskins have Hall and Josh Wilson returning for a third straight season as the starting cornerback tandem. The need remains for a corner to cover slot receivers, and Winfield fits that bill.

However, Washington had just more than $1 million in cap space before re-signing Hall, and once he officially signs, the Redskins could have to restructure contracts or release players to get below the cap, and to create enough spending money to sign April’s draft picks, and/or to add another player through free agency.

The Redskins’ message to Winfield’s representatives was that they had a plan for how to create enough room beneath the cap to sign the cornerback to a deal.

But two people familiar with the team’s deliberations believed it was unlikely that Washington would be able to pull that off because of the Redskins’ limitations.

It wasn’t clear what kind of an offer Washington had presented to Winfield, or how it compared to the one that he had received from the Minnesota Vikings, who released him last month to save money against the salary cap. A third team also is said to have interest in Winfield, but it wasn’t clear how seriously their pursuit was. CBS Sports last week mentioned the Denver Broncos as another potential suitor for the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

Winfield is out of the country, vacationing with his family, and is said to be weighing his offers. It’s expected that he will make a decision shortly after his return.

More from The Post on the Redskins:

D.C. Sports Bog: Jack Pardee and the Redskins

Despite Redskins remain mostly intact

Pat White to visit Redskins

Redskins to host safety Cyprien

Sean Taylor murder trial delayed again

Opening Kick: What does Hall’s return mean for the secondary?

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · April 2, 2013

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