Cook said he knows he has to earn the trust of his teammates again. (US Presswire)
After cornerback Chris Cook was acquitted of his domestic assault charges in March, the Vikings showed interest in bringing him back to the team.

Originally, after Cook had been arrested the day before the Week 7 contest vs. the Packers and accused of choking his girlfriend, the team suspended him and he missed the rest of the season. But after a jury found him not guilty, Cook is back with Minnesota and ready to continue on with his career.

He knows he’s got plenty of work to do.

"Yeah, definitely, I feel like I have to earn [my teammates'] trust again," Cook told reporters Wednesday, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I definitely let them down last year by being in the situation I was in and missing the 10 games. I'm really looking forward to earning their trust and being a contributing factor to the team."

In actuality, Cook should be one of the starting corners on defense. Although the Vikings allowed 251.2 passing yards per game, ranking them the seventh-worst in the league last season, Antoine Winfield is one of the NFL's better cornerbacks (ranking first on the Pro Football Reference rankings list in 2010 and sixth last season).

Cook has shown potential, but he’s also only played 12 games during the first two seasons of his career. That’s probably why the 2010 second-round pick is happy to have a job at this point.

"I definitely appreciate it a lot more than I have in the past," he said. "This is what I love to do, even though this isn't the really fun part. It's kind of hard, but I love doing this. This is the part of the year when you get better."

Cook, earlier in 2011, also had been charged with brandishing a firearm, but those charges were dropped. "It definitely will make me smarter about how I react to other people and what they say to me or what they try and do to me," Cook said after he was cleared of the gun charge but before the assault trial.

Hopefully for Cook and his team, that means he’ll stay off the police blotter completely for the 2012 season.

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