EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings released Jerome Simpson on Thursday following the revelation of more trouble for the wide receiver: three misdemeanors related to a previously unreported incident this summer.
Simpson 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, according to Rick Hart, deputy police chief in Bloomington, Minn. Hart said Simpson was cited but not arrested July 7, declining to make further information public because the case is considered open. The citation was issued shortly after midnight on a road less than a mile from the team’s suburban headquarters in Eden Prairie.
Simpson has a Nov. 3 arraignment in Hennepin County court, but with him already serving a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy the Vikings didn’t wait to assess his status. He would have been eligible to return to the active roster Monday.
Simpson’s attorney, David Valentini, didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Coach Mike Zimmer, asked about the situation after practice but before the move was made, declined comment until after conferring with general manager Rick Spielman.
Simpson was arrested last November on suspicion of drunken driving. In January, he avoided jail time after pleading guilty to careless driving and refusing to take a DWI test. In return, prosecutors dropped a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired.
The NFL finalized the suspension Aug. 29, after Simpson unsuccessfully appealed in a meeting at league headquarters in New York. The league said Thursday the July 7 incident would be reviewed under the substance abuse policy, so if he signs with another team he’d be on track for a steeper penalty.
Simpson also served a three-game ban in 2012, stemming from a felony drug conviction for a marijuana shipment authorities found at his home in Kentucky while he played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011.
Simpson was still on probation for the 2011 drug conviction in Kentucky at the time of the 2013 drunken driving arrest in Minnesota. As part of the plea deal for the 2013 incident, Simpson was placed on probation for a year, so he could face fallout for the July citation in the legal system, too.
Photo via Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports Images
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