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RENTON, Wash. – Antoine Winfield insists he's not bitter about the way his nine years with the Minnesota Vikings ended.
That doesn't mean the veteran cornerback isn't relishing the chance to get a little payback when the Seattle Seahawks host the Vikings on Nov. 17 at CenturyLink Field.
"Oh, my. It's circled," Winfield told USA TODAY Sports with a smile at Seahawks training camp this week. "I can't wait to play against those guys."
Winfield isn't alone in that sentiment.
The list of ex-Vikings on the Seattle roster includes receivers Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and linebacker/special teamer Heath Farwell.
More remarkable, four of those players – Winfield, Harvin, Rice and Farwell – were Pro Bowl selections on the 2009 Vikings team that reached the NFC championship game.
"I feel like we had the same talent that that team had in '09," Rice said, "with a little more spunk."
Jackson and Rice arrived first, signing with the Seahawks after the 2011 lockout. Then came Farwell, whom the Vikings released in their final cuts a month later.
Harvin was acquired in a March trade. The next day, the Vikings cut Winfield, who joined his old friends with the Seahawks – and was assigned the locker next to Farwell.
"It's bizarre," Farwell said, "but it's great."
There's also a familiar face on the Seahawks coaching staff – offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who held the same job with the Vikings from 2006 to '10.
For Winfield, who spent five seasons with the Buffalo Bills before signing with the Vikings in 2004, the time was right to move on after a stunning release he admits "hurt at first."
The Vikings made a superior offer that guaranteed Winfield's full base salary if he'd return. But Winfield took less – one year for up to $3 million, with only $1 million guaranteed – in hopes of pursuing a title at age 36 in Seattle.
"It's all about winning," Winfield said. "I want to win a championship. We got a lot of talent out here."
It just so happens some of that talent came from the team that'll be on the opposite sideline come Nov. 17.