Antoine Winfield Jr’s Pro Bowl Snub is NOT Sitting Well with Dad

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

For those of us who watched Antoine Winfield Jr blossom into one of the best safeties in college football, during his four years at the University of Minnesota, his early career success at the NFL level isn’t surprising.

A large contingent of us also remember his dad, Antoine Winfield Sr play in the 2000’s, locking down opposing wide receivers and lighting up running backs whose coaches dare call a toss or outside screen to his side of the Minnesota Vikings secondary.

Related: Antoine Winfield Jr Should Be Mic’d Up Every Week

Antoine Winfield Jr egregious Pro Bowl snub

In an NFC void of safeties making the type of impact, both statistically and beyond the numbers, that Winfield Jr has made in 2023, “Tweez” felt like a Pro Bowl lock. But when rosters were released on Wednesday, Budda Baker (Cardinals) and Julian Love (Seahawks) were the NFC’s strong safeties and Winfield Jr was left off the roster.

Below are some on-paper comparisons between the three for this season. Look, I know numbers only tell part of the story… but in this case, I’m not sure I need to read the rest of said story in order to know that, not only does Budda Baker not belong as the NFC’s starter, he shouldn’t be on the roster, period.

PlayerCombSoloTFLSacksQB HitsIntPDFFFR
*Budda Baker775050.000000
*Julian Love1168110.0041021
Antoine Winfield Jr1177355.0731254
*2023-24 Pro Bowl

Related: Antoine Winfield Jr Rows the Boat with Bucs Defense After Interception

Antoine Winfield Sr sounds off on son’s snub

Obviously, others around the football world have realized just how badly the Pro Bowl process is screwing Antoine Winfield Jr. And when that’s the case in 2024, people take to social media. Those people included Jr’s dad, Antoine Winfield Sr, who chose instagram as his venting platform. And he didn’t hold back, demanding a recount in the… wait for it… ALL CAPS.

antoine.winfield: WE DEMAND A RECOUNT🤬🤬🤬. @nfl somebody has some explaining to do!!! Ain’t NO WAY in HELL Buddha Baker goes to the ProBowl ahead of My lil man with NO STATS🤬. I know how important ProBowls are on the Resume & it just so happens to be his Contract year🤔. We ain’t going for the Bullshit. Somebody Need to Holla at me🤬🤬🤬.

This isn’t the first time Winfield Jr has been blatantly passed up by others who are not as deserving as he is. Just take a trip back to the 2020 NFL Draft, when he should have become a member of the Vikings.

Remember that time Winfield Jr was overlooked by Rick Spielman, Vikings

Much like I do, Rick Spielman falls watched Antoine Winfield Sr play football back in the 2000s AND he sat behind me in the Minnesota Gophers press box for much of the 2019 season, when Jr really rose to stardom, collegiately.

Not only that, but the then Vikings GM was and is well aware of how much better the odds are for a mid-round draft pick to stick in the league, and possibly reach great heights, if he has NFL blood flowing through his veins.

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That’s why it was somewhat shocking when Spielman passed on Winfield Jr in April 2020. After nailing their first of two 1st round picks, when Justin Jefferson fell into their laps at pick 22, it was well known the Vikings were looking to get younger in their secondary with the picks that followed.

Projected in the top to middle of the 2nd round, Antoine Winfield Jr seemed like a rare no-miss 2nd rounder, and an immediate upgrade for a Vikings secondary looking to revamp itself. But instead of going with “Tweeze”, Rick and then head coach Mike Zimmer, took Jeff Gladney at pick 31 and followed that up with Cam Dantzler in the 3rd round (89th).

Tampa Bay scooped up Winfield Jr at pick 45 and he’s done nothing but impress ever since. Dantzler, on the other hand, has spent more time on the sideline than on the playing field, during his three NFL seasons.

Not only did Spielman pass on Winfield Jr, but according to the former Gophers safety, Rick wasn’t really interested in Antoine Jr during the pre-draft process, even after watching him at least a dozen times from the then TCF Bank Stadium press box.

Jeff Gladney struggled with off the field issues, before tragically passing away in a car accident in May, 2022. He wasn’t a member of the Minnesota Vikings at that time.

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