Felton apologizes to Vikings, fans

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Following his weekend arrest for a DWI, Minnesota Vikings fullback Jerome

Felton took part in the organized team activities this week and expressed his

apologies for adding to the team’s recent string of run-ins with law

enforcement.

Felton, 25, was arrested and jailed early Saturday morning for second-degree

DWI. He refused to submit to a chemical test and was charged with the gross

misdemeanor. Felton, who was released later in the day on $12,000 bail, was

reportedly waiting at the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s in Eden Prairie when

he was given field sobriety tests and taken into custody.

“I just want to sincerely apologize to the fans, No. 1, organization and

everyone around the Vikings,” Felton said Wednesday. “I’ll handle

everything that comes my way, the consequences of whatever happens. I’ll move

forward and be positive from here on out. I can assure the organization and

fans of that.”

Felton was signed to a one-year, $700,000 contract by Minnesota in March and

has a chance to win the Vikings’ fullback job. He would fill a void as a lead

blocker in the wake of Jim Kleinsasser’s retirement. Felton split 2011 between

the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts, playing 14 games with three

carries and four catches.

Felton, a fifth-round pick by the Detroit Lions in 2008, was eager to address

the incident with the team.

“That’s the first thing I did was talk with (coach Leslie) Frazier and try

to contact everybody within the organization, let them know I apologize for

being in one of those types of situations and shed negative light on this

team,” Felton said. “Everybody is trying to be positive, and the

team’s doing a great job of that, and I definitely don’t want to be the person

that has a negative influence.”

Felton is scheduled to appear at 8:15 a.m. CT on July 18 at the Ridgedale court

in Minnetonka, Minn. He noted the services provided by the league and team for

such instances and regrets not making the call. The Vikings have a hotline

players can call to receive courtesy rides and are advised to use the service

instead of putting themselves in bad situations.

“There were some personal discussions, but just about making good

decisions, not putting yourself in any type of situation to where negative

things can happen, and just being smart when it comes to that,” Felton

said of the message he received from coaches. “The Vikings do a great job

of educating us and putting programs in place to keep us out of situations.

I’ve got to be smart. We’ve got to be smart as a team to take advantage of all

those sources.”

On two separate occasions last year, Vikings were arrested on DWI charges.

Quarterback Rhett Bomar was charged during training camp and released later

after not making the team. Safety Tyrell Johnson had his DWI during the season

and returned to play. Johnson signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent

this offseason.

Minnesota also released backup running back Caleb King earlier this offseason

after he was charged with assault.

“You’re always looking at the people you’re trying to sign,” Frazier

said. “That’s probably the No.1 thing you take a look at. We’ll always try

to see what we’re doing and how we’re doing it, and try to make it better both

on and off the football field.

“I also know, when you’re dealing with young men at this age there’s a

possibility of this happening. It wouldn’t surprise me. … You hope it doesn’t

happen, but you always have to be aware that there’s a possibility it could

happen.”

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