Vikings release A.J. Jefferson after domestic assault arrest
The Vikings have cut ties with cornerback A.J. Jefferson after an early-morning arrest.
By BRIAN HALLFS North
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.