Minnesota Vikings Cornerback Antoine Winfield Not Present at Friday's Minicamp

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield intercepts a first-half pass against the Chicago Bears Dec. 3, 2006 in Chicago.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield was absent from the team's from the team's first mandatory minicamp.

The Pro Bowl corner is heading into the final year of his contract with the Vikings

Although the team and Winfield's agent, Ashanti Webb, have been in negotiations this offseason regarding a new deal, talks broke off earlier this month and have not resumed.

If Winfield is unexcused from his absence, he could be subject to $15,000 in fines and also forfeiture of part of a signing bonus.

The Vikings would be wise to get this done. Winfield has been not only the emotional leader of the defense for the past five seasons, he played well enough last year to punch his first ticket to the Pro Bowl. In 2008, Winfield recorded 95 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, and four forced fumbles.

He was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills out of Ohio State and played there for five seasons before signing with the Vikings before the 2004 season.

Although many are not too surprised at this move, a lot of teammates and coaches in the Vikings organization expected him to be at the mandatory minicamp.

I will keep you up to date on Winfield's situation and everything else through this weekend's minicamp that started Friday and ends on Sunday.

Update: According to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, head coach Brad Childress said after practice that Winfield was attending the funeral of a friend's mother and won't be attending practices for the next three days.