The Vikings’ attempt to re-sign cornerback Antoine Winfield to a more cap-friendly contract failed when Winfield went to Seattle, but one of the cornerbacks who remains in Minnesota doesn’t think the team will miss him too much.
“I definitely don’t see that being the case this year. We’ve got a lot of young, hungry guys. We put in a lot of extra time and we communicate very well and we spend a lot of time together bonding,” cornerback Chris Cook said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. ”I don’t think we’ll be what people think we’ll be. I think we’ll be probably, most definitely a top secondary this year.”
It’s shaping up to be a big season for Cook. The former second-round pick has shown talent over the years, but he’s only played in 22 games over his first three seasons because of injuries and a suspension in 2011 after a domestic violence arrest. Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Cook has plenty of motivation to both play well and stay on the field. The Vikings’ chances of having a top secondary will be much better if the man making the prediction can do those two things.
With Xavier Rhodes coming to the team in the first round last month, the Vikings now have a pair of big corners to throw out against the likes of Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall in the NFC North. That’s brought with it talk of increased press coverage, which would give Cook plenty of chances to show he can lead the kind of secondary he thinks the Vikings have in 2013.