Thursday, March 15, 2012
Verdict gives Chris Cook another chance
By Kevin Seifert
You've probably heard by now that a jury has found Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook not guilty on all charges related to a domestic incident last October. The NFL could still levy a penalty under its personal conduct policy, but Thursday's verdict means that Cook almost certainly will remain with the team.
*UPDATE: An NFL spokesman said the NFL does not expect to assess discipline.
Cook hasn't played or practiced since the incident with his girlfriend, which resulted in charges of felony strangulation and third-degree assault. The woman, Chantel Baker, later recanted her story and testified that Cook did not strangle her during an early morning altercation at his Minnesota home.
The Vikings suspended him without pay for two weeks, then sent him home for the rest of the season, with pay, while the legal process played out. Coach Leslie Frazier said that Cook's future with the team was tied to the outcome of his trial, the basis of our assumption that Cook won't be released.
Cook was probably the Vikings' best cornerback during the portion of the season he played in 2011, and he would enter 2012 as a likely starter. If the team offers any comment, we'll pass it along.