Vikings release WR Simpson after latest legal troubles
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Jerome Simpson’s legal troubles aren’t behind him yet and now they’ve cost him his job.
The Minnesota Vikings announced Thursday they’d released Simpson, the Minnesota Vikings receiver currently serving a three-game suspension for DWI. He was cited in Bloomington, Minn., in July and is facing charges of driving on a limited driver’s license, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and having an open bottle in a motor vehicle.
Simpson, 28, wasn’t arrested for the incident, when he was found at 12:44 a.m. on July 7. Simpson is scheduled for a court date on Nov. 3 for the charges, which are misdemeanors.
Coach Mike Zimmer said he was just informed of the charges against Simpson following Thursday’s practice.
"I’m not going to talk about it until I talk to Rick," Zimmer said, referring to general manager Rick Spielman.
Simpson has served two games for his second three-game suspension in three seasons. He was set to be reinstated following Minnesota’s game Sunday at New Orleans. His suspension stemmed from a DWI in November of last year. Simpson pleaded guilty in January to careless driving and a third-degree DWI for refusal to submit to a DWI test.
The Vikings signed Simpson in 2012 following a drug conviction when a marijuana shipment was tracked to his home.
Simpson spent 15 days in jail in 2011 after a 2 1/2 pound shipment of marijuana was delivered to his home. He was later suspended for three games to start the 2012 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy for the drug charges.
Simpson, who had 48 catches and 726 receiving yards last season, re-signed with the team in the offseason on a one-year, $1 million deal, his third consecutive one-year contract with Minnesota.
The incident is another off-field matter for the Vikings, which had star running back Adrian Peterson placed on the commissioner’s exempt list a day earlier as he deals with charges of injury to a child. Peterson, the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, will be away from the team while he deals with his legal situation, perhaps meaning Peterson won’t return this season.
"Like when I first came in here, we’re going to continue to do the things that I talked about doing," Zimmer said of trying to get the team passed the off-field issues. "We’re going to look for high-character guys, guys that care about football, guys that are passionate about playing the game and continue to get these guys. And we’re going to keep working."
Follow Brian Hall on Twitter