Simpson was arrested for possession of marijuana. He was already serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy.
Simpson has had his moments throughout his career, but hasn't been able to stay out of trouble off the field.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 1:34pm
Fortunately for the Vikings' receiver depth, their offense has two things working in its favor. First, OC Norv Turner makes frequent use of two-tight end sets; the San Diego Chargers used more of them than all but one team while Turner was the head coach from 2007-12, and used the fewest three-receiver formations during that time. And second, the Vikings have another versatile wideout in third-year man Jarius Wright.
The 5-foot-11 Wright, who'd been cast as a slot receiver early in his rookie year, actually ran 192 of his 252 routes lined up wide last season, as Jennings and Patterson got more of the slot work. He caught 23 of his 26 passes lined up out wide, and clicked with quarterback Matt Cassel late in the season, catching 14 of his 26 passes from Cassel for 252 yards. Wright saw 30.7 percent of his routes from the slot during the preseason, and he's got plenty to prove in Year 3 as he tries to carve out a niche in the offense, so he should be ready and eager to fit into the Vikings' scheme while Simpson is out.
The story breaks it down in depth on how the team will move its WRs around this year based on the preseason: During their third preseason game in Kansas City, when the Vikings' starters played almost all of the first three quarters, they ran 18 plays out of three-receiver sets, displaying impressive variety in how they lined up their three wideouts. Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Simpson all saw time on both sides and in the slot. It's perhaps especially good news for Patterson owners that the team is trying to create mismatches for the talented WR.
This will open up opportunities for Jarius Wright early in the season.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 9:21am
The punishment arises from a November 2013 arrest for DUI and refusal to submit to a chemical test. Simpson later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and failure to submit to a chemical test, but the outcome triggers scrutiny under the portion of the substance-abuse policy that relates to alcohol-related offenses.
Simpson’s three-game suspension arising from felony drug charges in 2012 made him susceptible to a suspension for his latest offense under the substance-abuse policy. Which doesn’t bode well for Browns receiver Josh Gordon and his own pending DUI charge, given his history of violations of the substance-abuse policy.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 4:37pm
Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson missed practice Monday to attend a hearing at NFL headquarters in New York and defend himself against a possible suspension for his November drunken-driving arrest, according to a person with direct knowledge.
The league is determining whether to discipline Simpson as a repeat offender under its collectively bargained Policy and Program For Substances of Abuse.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 8:07pm
Plenty of roster decisions remain for the Vikings between now and the end of training camp. As it stands now, though, it sure seems like the hometown kid has his spot secured.
WR Adam Thielen, a product of Minnesota State-Mankato, has impressed in camp, in the first preseason game, and has one of his fellow receivers certain he'll make the team.
"I feel like Adam is a starter," roommate Cordarrelle Patterson said. "He don't feel like he's on the team but I tell him every day, 'man you're on this team. There's nothing you can do that you won't be a part of this team.'
"Adam's a great guy. ... I know he's going to make the team."
Thielen spent last season on the Vikings' practice squad, but he was listed as the backup "first wide receiver" on the team's unofficial depth chart released last week, which would mean he's as high as fifth on the wide receiver pecking order. Vikings analyst for 1500ESPN.com, Andrew Krammer, included Thielen as the fifth wide receiver to make the cut. The Vikings could possibly take as many as six, given that Jerome Simpson is likely to be suspended by the NFL.
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 4:29pm
Versatility from Vikings wide outs is what receivers coach George Stewart views as a strength for his group that hopes to be featured more with steady quarterback play.
"In Norv's offense, everything's up for everyone," Stewart said. "We have guys that can handle different things. Hopefully we have a chance to be very, very, very multiple at the outside receiver spot."
Jarius Wright became the first receiver since Titus Young on Oct. 28, 2012 to record multiple touchdown catches against the Seahawks when he caught a 21-yarder from the slot position later in the game.
However, Wright only lined up in the slot about a quarter of his snaps last season as the team prominently featured Jennings in that role. With Cordarrelle Patterson's continued development and a proven downfield threat in Jerome Simpson, Wright's versatility despite his lack of height will help his cause to be more featured in his third NFL season.
Wright looks like he's going to get time in the slot this season as the team's WR3, but he's going to have to prove himself before being fantasy worthy. The Vikes are also going to rely heavily on TE Kyle Rudolph in the passing game, according to reports, so Wright will have to fight for targets.
After nearly one week of training camp, Greg Jennings' head is spinning a little less as he addressed the predictability factor that running back Adrian Peterson said hindered the Minnesota Vikings offense in the past.
"We were heavy, heavy, heavy run game," Jennings said. "Now we're going to take a lot more stress off Adrian. He's still going to get a heavy dosage of runs, but I think what Norv brings to the table is a more balanced offense."
When Jennings signed with the Vikings, the initial intention by the previous coaching staff was to use him as a flanker. However, he lined up in the slot 65 percent of the snaps last season, per PFF, and Turner wants to use Jennings in a similar fashion - but in a vastly different scheme.
During training camp practices, the Vikings appear to be using two split ends on the field more so than in previous schemes as Jerome Simpson and Cordarrelle Patterson line up on the outside, with Jennings and/or Jarius Wright on the inside.
Jennings dealt with some injuries in 2013 but he showed a nice rapport with Matt Cassel, averaging 5.9 catches for 70 yards and 0.57 TD with Cassel under center. Unfortunately Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman dragged the Vikings FP/Att into the bottom seven in the league. Assuming Cassel or promising rookie Teddy Bridgewater can offer better efficiency, Jennings should bounce back as most fantasy eyes are set squarely on Cordarrelle Patterson. For what it’s worth, Cassel’s FP/Att was 0.971, which was very close to the league average. Jennings is going in the 13th round even though he finished as the #39 WR in 2013.
Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 9:36am
That has less to do with his performance on the field than it does about concerns off of it. Simpson was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving last November, and though he's completed his community service requirement after pleading guilty to a lesser charge, he could still face NFL discipline for his second arrest in less than three years.
If Simpson is suspended at all this season, he'll have a harder time putting up the numbers to earn the multi-year deal he's often said he wants. If he can stay out of trouble, though, there will be opportunities for him in the Vikings' offense.
Simpson will have to compete with second-year player Cordarrelle Patterson and vet Greg Jennings. But, both Patterson and Simpson have worked at other spots, according to the story, and in an offense that figures to spread things out and push the ball downfield more, Simpson could find plenty of opportunities to put up numbers. More than one-third of his targets last season came on passes that traveled at least 15 yards in the air, according to ESPN Stats and Information, and that number could be at least as high this season. He's off our fantasy radar right now, ranked just 92nd and not getting drafted, but he's one of many guys who could get plucked off the waiver wire at some point.
Friday, March 14, 2014, 3:24pm
Saturday, November 16, 2013, 4:18pm
The local media expect Simpson to be benched in favor of Patterson after coach Leslie Frazier dropped hints throughout the week.
As Patterson received extended reps in this week's practice, Frazier confirmed that the rookie's stock is on the rise after playing a season-high 40 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 10.
"We intended to continue to get him more reps," Frazier said, via Fox Sports North. "You saw it in the Washington game and the prior week, we're trying to get him more reps. So, that was a part of the plan anyway, and it definitely will be a part of the plan now with some of the concerns that we have."
Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 5:31pm
However, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier declined to say definitively whether Simpson will be available. Frazier acknowledged that Simpson’s guilty plea to a felony drug charge in Kentucky before Simpson joined the Vikings will “definitely factor in to what happens going forward” in terms of a possible additional punishment by the NFL and/or team.
“We’ll have further clarification as we learn more from the league as well as what we’re going to do internally,” Frazier said. “But from my standpoint there isn’t a whole lot more that I can add regarding his situation as we are continuing to gather more information.”
The Vikings returned to work Monday after a three-day break following their 34-27 victory against the Washington Redskins on Thursday. Simpson addressed reporters for about two minutes after a short practice.
“I sincerely apologize for the attention that I have brought to the fans, our community and myself,” he said.
Saturday, November 9, 2013, 1:57pm
According to a jail spokesperson, Simpson refused a breathalyzer and was arrested on probable cause. Jail records show he was booked at 5:39 a.m. Saturday.
Simpson, 27, is on a 36-hour hold, the spokesperson said. Because it's a weekend, Simpson could be held until noon Tuesday, though a judge could review his case sooner, the spokesperson said.
Friday, August 9, 2013, 8:15pm
"The bottom line with [Jarius Wright] is he knows what to do all of the time," Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. "He can help the other guys in that room. With all of the new faces in the receiving room, he helps them in the meeting room, during the drills and also of course when they break the huddle."
The 5-foot-10 Wright initially was pigeon-holed as a slot receiver, but has shown an ability to get down the field on the perimeter. He had three catches for 65 yards and a touchdown in Week 10 and finished the season with 22 catches for 310 yards and two scores in the final seven games.
No one expects Wright to fill Harvin's production on his own, but showing that he is capable of being a threat could help take the opposing defense's eye off of Adrian Peterson, Jennings and tight end Kyle Rudolph on occasion.
Given the current state of the Minnesota receiving corps, it's not inconceivable that Wright could see a lot of snaps in the slot and also in a rotation with Jerome Simpson and Cordarelle Patterson on the outside.
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