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Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Parting ways with Bernard Berrian past due

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

I'm sure many of you assumed the Minnesota Vikings finally got fed up with receiver Bernard Berrian's nonchalant attitude when they waived him Tuesday. You might be right, but I tend to think they were more frustrated with his ineffectiveness than his personality.

You could read Tuesday's transaction as the latest move to break up the tenured-veteran status new coach Leslie Frazier inherited, a process that ostensibly began with the dismissal of left tackle Bryant McKinnie in training camp. But the reality is Berrian has never been an effervescent personality or a team leader. It's not in his makeup. He's quiet and sensitive and slips easily into sourpuss mode.

Berrian, of course, was more than tolerable when he was averaging 20.1 yards per catch in 2008. But over the past three seasons, we've seen a decline in production that made his continued employment baffling. The Vikings probably saw all they needed to see last season, when he managed just 28 receptions in 14 games. But with few explosive weapons in their passing game, they decided to give him one more try this season with new quarterback Donovan McNabb.

After seven catches and two game-day deactivations, it became clear that pairing him with a new quarterback wasn't going to help. With rookie Christian Ponder taking over for McNabb and the Vikings staring at a 1-6 record, now was as good of a time as any to move on.

It's quite possible that an incident behind the scenes sparked the timing of the decision. But the explanation really isn't important. We've seen it with our own eyes. If you need a reminder, check out the chart below.