EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Chris Cook has been away from the Minnesota Vikings for four months while he deals with pending legal issues.
With Minnesota’s staff deep in evaluation for the upcoming draft and free agency, there has been no resolution on Cook’s status. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said he has spoken with Cook, but nothing has changed since Cook was reinstated from the suspended list and told to stay away from Minnesota’s facilities in November.
“Nothing has changed since the last time we spoke on him,” Spielman said. “That means status quo.”
Cook was arrested and charged in October with domestic abuse/strangulation after he allegedly choked his girlfriend for having contact with an ex-boyfriend. He was suspended for less than two weeks and Minnesota reinstated him to the active roster with the agreement he would be away from the team during his legal proceedings.
Spielman didn’t close the door on a possible return by Cook to the team that selected him with its top pick, No. 34 overall, in the 2010 draft.
“Just waiting for the legal process to take its course,” Spielman said.
Cook, scheduled for a March 5 court date, hasn’t stayed out of the spotlight, still remaining very active on his Twitter account, but hasn’t referenced the allegations directly.
Cook was beginning to develop into the Vikings’ top cover cornerback early last season and appeared to be the type of player they believed they were getting when they drafted him in the second round a year earlier. He had been limited to just six games during his rookie season with knee injuries.
Spielman hopes Cook has learned from his experience and time away from the game.
“You would hope, and again, I’m not a professional, but I know you would think that someone who had to go through what he had to go through has grown from that experience and is going to mature from that experience, too,” Spielman said.
Minnesota will likely look to upgrade its secondary, regardless of Cook’s status. Spielman said there seems to be good depth with cornerbacks in the draft and he isn’t letting Cook’s status determine any potential moves.
“I just say you can never have enough good corners,” Spielman said. “So, you’re always trying to get good corners regardless, especially in the division we play.”