Cook signs with 49ers, leaving crowded Vikings CB field behind


The Vikings only had one Cook in the kitchen last year – apparently that was too many.

Cornerback Chris Cook is joining the San Francisco 49ers.

The team announced the signing Friday night. The 27-year-old got a one-year deal, the team said.

Cook finishes his run in Minnesota with 0 interceptions in 34 games played. He racked up 120 tackles and 13 passes defended in those appearances. The Vikings drafted him in the second round, 34th overall, of the 2010 NFL draft out of the University of Virginia. He allowed nine touchdowns last season – tied for worst among all cornerbacks.

The 6-2, 212-pound Cook told the Sacramento Bee he envisions the 49ers using him in press coverage – something he says he excels at, and hinted he didn't get to do much with the Vikings.

"And that's what I like to do," he told the paper. "I feel like I'll fit in well with the one-high (safety) scheme that they like to run. I came from a two-high scheme. And I feel like a one-high scheme and a man-to-man scheme fits me well."

Cook's time as a Viking was marred by injuries – 30 missed games during his four years up north, according to 1500ESPN, some of which came after an early-career arrest.

The move isn't surprising for the Vikings. Just this week the team signed highly-touted cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to a three-year deal. The next day the purple added another cornerback, Derek Cox, on a one-year deal. Both are young – Munnerlyn is 25 and has five career interceptions; Cox is 27, and had four strong years in Jacksonville before a subpar 2013 in San Diego – and fill out the Vikings' depth at the position.

The team has four cornerbacks who played for them last year coming back – Xavier Rhodes, Shaun Prater, Josh Robinson and Marcus Sherels. Plus first-year players Kip Edwards and Robert Steeples.

Munnerlyn told the Star Tribune he'll likely start outside, then slide into slot coverage on passing downs, filling a role held for years by Antoine Winfield.

The Vikings have been busy so far this offseason, most recently agreeing to a deal that will bring back wide receiver Jerome Simpson. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said the team isn't necessarily done though, according to the Star Tribune. Spielman said the team will continue monitoring free agents – but just at this point, they're very happy with their additions.

“We had a specific plan in place,” said Spielman, according to the paper “and we’re very pleased how that plan came together.”

Cook, for his part, is looking forward, using his Twitter (@Cook_Isle) to offer some statements, including calling his signing with the 49ers one of the happiest moments of his life, and saying he appreciated his time with the Vikings.

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What will the Vikings do with Cook?

The Vikings' secondary is in dire need of a talented players. Who will those players be? Nobody will know until free-agency begins and the draft concludes. Embattled cornerback Chris Cook could be back with the team, but nobody knows if his legal trouble will allow him on the field.