Make no mistake, Jerome Simpson’s weekend visit with the Vikings in the Twin Cities went incredibly well. The talented wide receiver liked what he heard about his chances to flourish in a significant role here. The Vikings, meanwhile, felt more and more comfortable as they got to know Simpson better.
As for the risk and potential baggage of signing Simpson? At present, one major wild card in the whole situation is the NFL’s indefinite timetable for issuing a disciplinary punishment to Simpson for his recent legal troubles. Last fall, the talented receiver found himself in hot water after a package being sent from California to his home in Kentucky was intercepted and found to contain 2.5 of marijuana.
Simpson was originally indicted on a felony trafficking charge. But in a plea agreement last month, he plead to a lesser felony of being involved in a prohibited act relating to controlled substances. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail plus three years of probation, given some lenience from the sentencing judge who could have issued four times as much jail time.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Simpson’s situation remains “under review” by the league, which could issue a suspension for the receiver’s violations of the Personal Conduct Policy. The severity of the punishment, obviously, is something the Vikings would like to know more about. And certainly knowing a timetable for that ruling would be helpful.
But as general manager Rick Spielman and his staff have done their due diligence in researching Simpson’s background and character in recent weeks, they have heard glowing reviews from those around the receiver.