Redskins' pursuit of Antoine Winfield is not just about the money

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Antoine Winfield visited the Redskins two weeks ago but remains undecided about his future. That doesn't mean his interest in coming to Washington has expired. On the contrary. According to a league source, the Redskins remain firmly in contention to sign the free agent corner.

But Winfield also has Seattle (which he visited Monday), his old team Minnesota and, reportedly, Denver interested in him. The question is, how can the Redskins afford Winfield? After all, they have less than $50,000 of salary cap space.

Though he's old (36), he remains an effective corner, especially in the slot. His presence would enable DeAngelo Hall to remain outside, where he's more effective. Winfield played as tough a game against the Redskins this past season as any corner they faced.

Would it cost them corner Josh Wilson? Anything's possible, but just know that this is someone coach Mike Shanahan coveted two years ago. But if they really want Winfield, they could ask Wilson to take a pay cut. As of late last week, there had been no conversations about that, according to a source. Wilson's cap number is $5.3 million and his salary will be $4 million this year, or nearly twice what most of the free agent corners received this offseason.

There are a few other players who could be in line for a pay cut, release or restructuring. The bottom line, however, is Winfield's side isn't bothered by the cap space because they know something can be done. If Winfield doesn't play here, it's not because the Redskins couldn't make it work.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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