Zimmer: Releasing Simpson was in Vikings’ ‘best interest’

Jerome Simpson had 48 catches for 726 yards last season as Minnesota's second-leading receiver.

Bruce Kluckhohn/Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — In the wake of losing Adrian Peterson for the foreseeable future, the Minnesota Vikings were hit with news on Thursday that receiver Jerome Simpson was dealing with another legal issue.

Minnesota acted swiftly with Simpson, who was serving a three-game suspension. The Vikings released the troubled receiver, who has been suspended twice in three seasons with Minnesota and is scheduled for another court appearance on Nov. 3.

Simpson’s multiple chances and the patience of the Vikings had finally ended.

"We’re always going to do what we think is for the best interest of the organization and that’s what we felt like we needed to do this time," said coach Mike Zimmer on Friday.

Simpson had 48 catches for 726 yards last season as Minnesota’s second-leading receiver, earning himself a one-year, $1 million deal. It was his third consecutive one-year contract with the Vikings, even as he was facing a possible suspension for DWI charges last November.

But Simpson was cited in Bloomington, Minn., in July and is facing misdemeanor 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.

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Another incident was enough, forcing Minnesota to move on from Simpson.

"We’re always going to make the best — make decisions based on the information that we have, number one," Zimmer said. "And, number two, we’re always going to do what’s best for the organization, and each situation will be handled on an individual basis."

Peterson, who is facing charges of injury to a child, was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list as he tends to his legal situation. Peterson is facing a court setting in Montgomery County, Texas, on Oct. 8.

The Vikings still have an open roster spot with Peterson being placed on the exempt list. The team hasn’t decided what it will do, and Zimmer said the spot might not be filled before Sunday’s game at New Orleans.

"I don’t know by Sunday, but we plan on making a move," Zimmer said. "We’ve got a list of everything we’re trying to accomplish and where we need to go, and go from there."

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