It appears that the Vikings decision to retain cornerback Chris Cook following allegations of assault and strangulation may be netting the result they were looking for.
After being acquitted of all charges on Thursday, NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello said, “We will review the facts, but we do not expect league discipline in this matter.”
Despite Cook’s lack of guilt, the NFL could have (and still can) suspended Cook for having two legal matters in his two NFL offseasons. Ben Roethlisberger was never found guilty by any jury, either, but they still suspended him following a series of disturbing allegations.
It appears that Cook will indeed be allowed back to Winter Park without further incident, however, and that means he is a likely starter come week one of the 2012 season.
The Vikings seem to hope that they can still salvage Cook as both a quality human being and a quality football player, and there is legitimate reason to believe that Leslie Frazier’s mentoring will work out better for both the team and the player as opposed to just cutting him loose. Still, these incidents are something the Vikings will not be eager to again invest time and money into, so Cook better stay out of trouble from this point forward.
The Vikings have already invested a lot into Cook, including their 2010 second round draft choice, and they have yet to receive much return on that investment.
Cook has played in only 12 games in his two seasons, six of which were starts, and has yet to produce an interception. He has netted 41 tackles, six defended passes, and that’s about it.
That is not very much production for a guy that is already half way through his rookie contract.
Time to step up, and shape up, young man.