It was reported earlier this week that the Minnesota Vikings had reached an impasse in talks on a contract extension for cornerback Antoine Winfield.

Not a huge issue, was my first thought. There’s plenty of time for both sides to meet in the middle and hammer something out – though the organization’s strategy in dealing with former center Matt Birk in a similar situation made me a bit squirmy.

But now Charley Walters at the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that the Vikings may be struggling to decide between extending Winfield and signing Brett Favre.

Now, let’s breathe a minute first. Walters often gets some interesting tidbits but his column is also known for its speculative nature, especially regarding some of his efforts to establish players’ market values regarding salaries or trades.

Nonetheless, if the Vikings are having a hard time choosing between Winfield and Favre, I will attempt here to break it down for them. Winfield is a 31-year-old cornerback who is a tackling maven in run support coming off arguably his best season. Favre is a 39-year-old quarterback coming off a terrible five game slide to end the 2008 season – a season during which he played with an as of yet unfixed torn bicep muscle.

Can someone please, please explain why there is even a discussion here? If you can bring in Favre at a reasonable price (I would argue the $10 million mentioned in Walters’ column is perhaps too high) to run the offense for a year or two, I guess it’s a liveable deal if he is healthy. But if bringing in Favre in any way jeopardizes the team’s ability to keep Winfield, I’m sorry, it’s not a deal worth making.

Favre, if he’s not washed up already, is close. He’s perilously close to becoming one of “those guys” who hangs on too long at the end. Winfield, as evidenced by his play last season, still has a lot of good years left.