Vikings CB Chris Cook will be able to proclaim his innocence to a judge when it comes to charges filed against him claiming he brandished a gun during an argument with a neighbor. His neighbor went before the court to get the charges filed, a component of Virginia law.
Vikings cornerback Chris Cook
is maintaining his innocence, but he is facing a preliminary hearing next Monday on a misdemeanor charge of brandishing a handgun in Lynchburg, Va., Cook's hometown.
Cook was arrested Saturday after getting into an argument with a neighbor. While Cook agreed an argument took place, he said he never pulled out a gun. His arrest came as a result of Virginia laws that allow citizens to go before a judge, make a criminal complaint and have a warrant issued for the person in question to answer the charges.
Cook maintains he did nothing wrong and, despite the arrest being made and charge being filed, it's still a "he said, he said" sort of argument that could be difficult to prove under the burden of proof in a courtroom. Still, given the stance that both the legal community and the NFL have taken when it comes to players and handguns, you can bet there will be plenty of people watching the Virginia courtroom next Monday to see what transpires and if the case is going to move forward.
The next time Minneapolis will be the center of the football universe will be April 6 – the date of the first hearing on the federal antitrust lawsuit filed by nine NFL players (including the Vikings' Ben Leber and Brian Robison) and one college player (linebacker Von Miller) against the league. The musical chairs of judges has yet to get back to David Doty, a longtime judicial thorn in the side of the NFL. The case was initially randomly assigned to Judge Richard Kyle, who recused himself without explanation. The case was then turned over to Judge Patrick Schiltz, who recused himself due to having represented the NFL while in private practice. The case is now scheduled to be heard by Judge Susan Richard Nelson, but don't be surprised if it ends up in the hands of Doty. He has essentially been the point man in legal matters concerning player-league disputes and has been the custodian of federal NFL cases since the Reggie White free agency legal battle that was ruled on in 1993. If the attorneys for the players can justify a linkage between this case and similar cases presided over by Doty, the case can be assigned to him. Technically, the landmark 1993 case has never been closed and future contentions to the law have been brought to his courtroom. It may take some time, but, if the case ends up being litigated, don't be stunned to see Doty involved in some capacity.
The latest sign of bad news on the horizon between the owners and players: The Vikings sent out a letter to season ticket holders telling them that the team has set up a refund policy if any preseason or regular-season games are wiped out because of the lockout. The policy would include payment of 1 percent annual interest starting on the date of the game missed. Fans have the option of requesting a refund for missed games or having the refunded amount applied to 2012 season tickets.
The Vikings are one of seven teams reportedly planning to work out TCU quarterback Andy Dalton. The National Football Post is also reporting the Vikings have a strong interest in Cam Newton, but, as it currently stands, most mock drafts have Newton going anywhere from No. 3 to Buffalo to No. 10 to Washington, but very few still have him on the board when the Vikings pick at No. 12.
Some things aren't going to change in the NFL when it resumes later this year (hopefully). There was discussion that the NFL's Competition Committee would enact a new rule that has been called the Calvin Johnson Rule. As it currently stands, the rule requires a player to maintain possession on a catch through the ground, meaning he can get both feet down, but if the ball pops loose at any time before hitting the ground and getting back to his feet the pass is an incompletion. The Johnson play that sparked the debate was a clear touchdown catch that Johnson made, but, as he rolled to his feet after rolling over with possession, it came out of his hand and the pass was ruled incomplete to the dismay of many viewers. However, the current rule is going to stay in place after the Competition Committee voted not to recommend a rules change.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.