There's no doubt that cutting Antoine Winfield was not one of Rick Spielman's finer moments as a GM. For all his "glory" surrounding a solid draft and decent FA signings, it was a move that shocked and befuddled many, and more than just a few of us figured it was a big mistake.
There's no doubt at this point that it was, in fact, a giant mistake. I don't care HOW badly Winfield might have played- all he had to do was be better than Josh Robinson, and you've got yourself an upgrade in a struggling secondary. So yes, we can all agree that Spielman made a giant error.
But is our GM getting paranoid about said error? To the point of silencing players on the subject? Winfield wasn't just a stud CB- he was also a major locker room presence and leader both on and off the field. He was extremely popular amongst the players, and no doubt many are pining for him to return. (Except maybe Josh Robinson, who would never, ever see the field again.) Today, Chris Cook was asked about just such a subject, and gave a very odd response.
Asked about the loss of Antoine Winfield, Chris Cook said he wouldn't talk about it because other players got in trouble for it before. Oh.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 13, 2013
Uhhhh... what? Unless I've missed something this is the first I've heard of players getting into trouble for talking about Winfield. Now I'm making quite a speculation here to say that Spielman would be behind said disciplining- and we also have no idea what "got in trouble for it" entails- but I really can't figure Leslie Frazier would be behind it. And outside of those two, I REALLY can't figure who would be even allowed to punish players for speaking out on something like that.
Again, I do want to stress that it's pure speculation on my part that Spielman might be behind this. And I also want to stress again that "in trouble" could mean a great variety of things. But whatever it was, it was enough to silence Chris Cook (who admittedly also bit his tongue to the point of even deleting his Twitter account after the Chicago game). And that's some very, very odd stuff in my opinion right there. As much as this team has been thrown into chaos recently with the Josh Freeman signing and subsequent Christian Ponder benching, Adrian Peterson's incredibly horrific tragedy, and whatever that clusterf*** on the field today was, I really just don't like the sound of this.