The Vikings eliminated a major headache today by releasing receiver Bernard Berrian. Berrian’s final stats for 2011: One state legislator sparred with, two meetings missed (that we know of), multiple delusional tweets, 2 games spent on the bench after being declared a healthy scratch, 7 receptions, 91 yards and thousands of Viking fans ticked off.
The decision to release Berrian comes two days after the receiver was mysteriously and apparently at the last second declared inactive for a game. When asked about the decision on Monday Leslie Frazier gave few details but did say he and Bernard would sit down to discuss the receiver’s future. Berrian himself said he wanted to remain a Viking, a curious statement given his behavior which seemed to suggest a strong desire to be run out of town.
If indeed it was Berrian’s wish to be cut, he got his wish. Few fans will miss him, and neither will quarterback Christian Ponder who impressed on the field against the Packers without any help from his alleged #3 receiver. Berrian was originally signed by the Vikings in 2008 to a 6-year, $42 million contract. Berrian struggled in 2009 despite the presence of Brett Favre, and disappeared again in 2010 even after Sidney Rice was injured, presumably opening the door for Berrian to get more targets. Berrian always remained defiant in the face of criticism, blaming his poor performance on everyone but himself, and even claiming at one point that his quarterbacks deliberately froze him out.
Somehow the Vikings will have to figure out a way to press on without Berrian’s herculean production.