Chamberlain Released

Wally Pipp likely never heard of the drug ephedra, but Byron Chamberlain suffered a similar fate Monday -- sit out and you're gone.

A couple of weeks ago when the Vikings were 2-0, VU was told on the down-low that if Byron Chamberlain didn't show up to Winter Park in phenomenal shape following his four-game suspension for testing positive for ephedra, he would be released.

He didn't and the team released him Monday.

VU has been told the following by sources close to the team as the timetable Monday:
* Chamberlain arrives Monday morning at Winter Park and is immediately put through a conditioning test and body fat analysis.
* He performs poorly in the conditioning test.
* His weight is 269 pounds -- almost 20 pounds above his listed playing weight and almost 30 pounds more than when the team originally signed him.
* His body fat rate is 24 percent.
* The team pushes him through some team practice drills in the afternoon and he performed sub-par once again.
* At the end of the afternoon practice, Mike Tice tells Chamberlain he has been released.

While the Vikings need experienced receivers, the team likely would have needed to release Sean Berton or Charles Stackhouse by next Monday to get the roster expemption completed for Chamberlain. Tice was unwilling to let either of them go for a player deemed to have not worked hard in the offseason or during his suspension to keep his own roster spot.

* While Chamberlain's contract wasn't guaranteed, the Vikings are still on the hook for $700,000 of his signing bonus -- $350,000 that will count vs. this year's salary cap and $350,000 vs. the 2004 cap.
* By releasing Chamberlain, who was scheduled to make $750,000 in salary, the Vikings actually saved $400,000 on this year's salary cap.
* Daunte Culpepper will be listed as questionable again for Sunday and, while both he and Gus Frerotte believe Culpepper will start Sunday, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said that, with one game before the bye week, sitting Culpepper again to let him fully heal would be a "pretty logical scenario."
* Michael Bennett is scheduled to undergo tests today on his ailing foot and the results should be known by Wednesday. If they are positive, he will begin running later this week.
* D'Wayne Bates will also get tests on his aching foot today. He has missed two games and is expected to miss next Sunday's game as well.
* The Vikings promoted DT Colin Cole to the 53-man roster. To make room for Cole, the team released WR Robert Baker. Cole's spot on the practice squad was taken by WR Ben Nelson, who was re-signed Monday.

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