EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have released
cornerback A.J. Jefferson after he was arrested Monday morning on probable
cause for domestic assault.
Jefferson was jailed at 6:57 a.m. on Monday and is still in
custody while being held without bail.
A statement from the Eden Prairie police department says a
23-year-old female reported she was a victim of domestic assault at 4:30 a.m.
on Monday, and Jefferson, 25, was arrested on probable cause for domestic
assault at his home in Eden Prairie. The statement offered no further details
and stated the case is under investigation.
Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier declined to add any further
information on Jefferson or the reason for his release.
“I can’t really comment on his release or what happens from
this point on regarding him,” Frazier said.
Jefferson is the second Vikings’ player to be arrested in 16
days. Receiver Jerome Simpson was arrested on Nov. 9 and charged with
third-degree DWI for refusal to submit to a chemical test, a gross misdemeanor,
and fourth-degree DWI for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of
alcohol, a misdemeanor.
Simpson is still with the Vikings and hasn’t received any
discipline from the team or the NFL in connection other than losing his
starting spot in the following week’s game. Frazier said the team was taking
its cues from the league in regards to discipline for Simpson and what the new
collective bargaining agreement allows.
“When it comes to the CBA, those rules are those rules, they
don’t change,” Frazier said. “Depending on substance abuse, or whatever it is.”
Minnesota’s Chris Cook was arrested on Oct. 22, 2011 and
later charged with felony charges of domestic abuse/strangulation. He was
suspended by the team, but reinstated less than two weeks later. He missed the
season’s final 10 games after the team told him to stay away from the team
facilities while going through the legal process. He was later acquitted.
According to an NFL arrest database maintained by the San
Diego Union-Tribune, Vikings’ players were arrested 10 times in the span of
just over 17 months from Jan. 29, 2011 to July 7, 2012. Simpson’s arrest on
Nov. 9 was the first arrest of a Minnesota player since Adrian Peterson was
arrested July 7, 2012 and charged with resisting arrest at a Houston night
club, a case in which the charges were eventually dropped.
Jefferson played one defensive snap in Sunday’s 26-26 tie at
Green Bay before leaving with a neck injury. The 6-foot-1 cornerback had five
tackles and one interception in 10 games this season for the Vikings. He was
acquired by Minnesota in a preseason trade last year from the Arizona
Cardinals. He had 37 tackles in 15 games last season.
Frazier said it was a mutual decision between he and general
manager Rick Spielman to release Jefferson and repeatedly refused to offer
specifics on Jefferson on Monday.
“I wouldn’t mind if I could, but it’s best if I not comment
regarding A.J. at this point,” Frazier said.