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Updated: October 26th, 2011 1:24pm
Bernard Berrian didn't follow through on promises, Leslie Frazier says

Bernard Berrian didn't follow through on promises, Leslie Frazier says

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Leslie Frazier didn't feel he had much choice but to suspend Chris Cook.

In the end, Bernard Berrian didn't leave him much choice either.

A day after the Vikings suspended Cook indefinitely and waived Berrian, Frazier said the latter decision was based at least in part on getting more production but also hedged when asked if he was satisfied with the veteran's work ethic and attitude.

"Bernard expressed to me he really wanted to be a part of our team and help us to be successful," Frazier said, referring to his Monday meeting with Berrian.

"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 that we want to get it done. It's one thing to say what I'm going to do. It's another thing to do those things.

"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, 30, was placed on waivers on Tuesday, two days after the Vikings made him a surprise deactivation for the second time in three weeks. Berrian went unclaimed Wednesday, according to ESPN, and became a free agent.

Frazier's statement backed up what NFL sources told on Tuesday: that the Vikings had simply grown tired of Berrian's indifference about improving his game and a lack of communication between him and the staff.

However, there's also no doubt Berrian's age and production -- he had seven catches for 91 yards (13.0 average) in 216 snaps over five games -- factored for a rebuilding team that had seen enough improvement from rookie seventh-round draft pick Stephen Burton to promote him from the practice squad.

"You'd like to get more from the position," Frazier said. "Stephen Burton is a young guy who we want to develop. We think he has some promise and now we'll get a chance to take a look at him and see how he performs. He's done a great job in practice. We've seen him continue to come from training camp on. We think he's worthy of being active."

Cook's situation forced the Vikings' hand on Tuesday, when he was charged with felony strangulation and a criminal complaint surfaced saying the second-year cornerback's girlfriend was found bloodied and crying by police prior to Cook's arrest early Saturday morning.

Frazier said the team is "disappointed" and "disturbed" by the accusations but emphasized he wants his team to focus on Sunday's game against Carolina. He spoke with Cook shortly after Cook's release from jail on Tuesday but declined to reveal details.

"The fact that he will be suspended from our team really lets you know how concerned we are about what has happened, and as we continue to get more information, we'll monitor the situation," Frazier said. "But at this point, I really can't delve into any more details other than what you read in the statement (issued late Tuesday night).

"But it is something that we are highly concerned about and very disturbed about, and in any matter that affects our team in a light that we don't feel is a positive light, we're going to try to address those situations as soon as we can. We've done that in this case, and there could be other things forthcoming as we go forward."

The Vikings placed Cook on the reserve/suspended list, meaning he can be replaced on the 53-man roster, an NFL spokesman confirmed.

As he has many times, Frazier explained the Berrian decision as "what's best for the team" and emphasized he approached these situations on an individual basis.

"That's the way you have to handle it," Frazier said. "It has to be what's best for the taem. There's so many talented guys in the National Football League, and you have to weigh every situation individually. ...

"We all know that to work in this arena, 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 a big deal in our league, in sports, in life in general."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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