Report: Jerome Simpson suspended three games

Jerome Simpson (Joe Robbins/Getty)

Free-agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson, who visited the Vikings, was suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to ESPN.

Wide receiver Jerome Simpson, who visited the Vikings over the weekend, has been suspended three games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, according to ESPN.

The NFL had no comment on the report, spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail to Viking Update Tuesday morning.

Simpson was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation earlier this month, a reduction in jail time from the recommended 60 days after reaching an agreement with Simpson.

Simpson pleaded guilty March 1 to the felony charge resulting from about 2 pounds of marijuana shipped to his northern Kentucky home in September. He was indicted on a felony charge of marijuana trafficking, but the plea agreement changed the charge to a prohibited act relating to controlled substances, also a felony.

Simpson told the judge that he would try through community service to help others not to make the same mistake. Several people testified at the hearing on his behalf, including his agent and a woman who works with him as a volunteer at a church in Covington that feeds the homeless and needy. They praised Simpson for his community service, a point that the judge noted in his remarks before sentencing.

Judge Gregory Bartlett of Kenton County Circuit Court said that he was impressed with the testimony and letters sent to him on Simpson's behalf. He said Simpson appears to be "a good person" who made a "serious lapse in judgment."

But despite the community service Simpson was doing long before he was charged, he still committed a felony, the judge said. "We can't ignore that," the judge said.

Both the prosecutor and the judge said that they don't believe Simpson was trafficking in marijuana but that it was for the use of him and probably his friends.

He had been under investigation since agents from California tracked the package shipped to his home. They said it contained 2½ pounds of marijuana. Authorities said a search of Simpson's home turned up one more pound of marijuana.

Simpson was a second-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina. He caught 53 passes for 758 yards and four touchdowns last season. A heels-over-head flip over a defender to score a touchdown became a staple of NFL highlight films.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, who sent a letter in support of Simpson to the judge, said last month that the team is open to offering Simpson another contract despite his legal problems. In addition to visiting the Vikings, he also visited the St. Louis Rams. Recommended Stories

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