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Coach: Cutting vet WR not personal

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says the decision to release veteran receiver Bernard Berrian was not personal.

"Just a matter of what was going to be best for our team," Frazier said Wednesday. "One of the things I explained to our football team: Every decision that's made is based on what's best for our team. It has nothing to do with it being personal or anything like that. It's what best for our team."

Frazier was careful not to overtly criticize Berrian, who had a total of 343 yards receiving, no touchdowns and no receptions longer than 30 yards since the start of last season while getting paid like a No. 1 receiver. He didn't directly answer a question about whether Berrian's attitude and effort were satisfactory.

"Bernard expressed to me he really wanted to be a part of our team and help our team to be successful, but for what we're trying to do and where we are, it's just so important that every guy tries to adhere to the way we want to get it done," Frazier said. "It's one thing to say what I'm going to do. It's another thing to do those things. And for us, we're trying to build something for the long term, not the short term, so you've got to make decisions based on the bigger picture."

Berrian, according to one report, missed two team meetings and was put on the inactive list for the Oct. 9 game against Arizona. He had his most productive game of the season Oct. 16 at Chicago, but last week against Green Bay he was a healthy scratch again. Berrian told Frazier he wanted to stay in a meeting Monday, but he was waived Tuesday and a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Wednesday that Berrian went unclaimed, making him a free agent.

"One of the things we looked at was performance for sure. You'd like to get more from the position," Frazier said.

Frazier, clearly, has been trying to create a culture of accountability since he took over, and he has shown he's not afraid to sacrifice short-term stability for the sake of what he believes is right. Despite being one of the most durable players in the league at a critical position where the Vikings had no proven replacement, left tackle Bryant McKinnie was let go during training camp after arriving overweight.

"There are going to be situations. It's going to happen. And how you handle those determines a lot of what type of success you'll have long term. Handling adversity is big deal in our league, in sports and life in general," Frazier said.

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder said he "didn't have much of a reaction" to Berrian's departure.

"Coach Frazier's done a really good job of keeping distractions away from us and kind of staying the course. Coach Frazier handled that deal, and I think he handled it well," Ponder said.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.