COMMENTARY | The Minnesota Vikings gave Jerome Simpson a second chance once. They shouldn't do so again and it's time to part ways with the wide receiver, who was arrested in Minnesota early Saturday morning for probable cause driving while intoxicated . Simpson didn't help himself when he refused a breathalyzer test, as that simple act pretty much erased the innocent until proven guilty claim.
Simpson, who was already on probation for a 2011 drug charge, signed a one-year contract with the Vikings in 2012 and had to sit out a three-game suspension he was handed by the league stemming from that incident. Simpson didn't have a particularly good season for the Vikings, but the team offered him another one-year deal for 2013 and he was making the most of it, ranking second on the team with 33 receptions for a team-high 491yards.
Simpson was arrested in September, 2011, after authorities intercepted a 2.5-pound package of marijuana that was mailed to his home. A search of his residence netted additional marijuana. Simpson received three years of probation and was sentenced to 15 days in jail, which he served in 2012 before joining the Vikings. It is unknown how his latest arrest will affect his probation.
It wasn't that many years ago that the Vikings were a joke of the league due to the sheer number of players arrested and the infamous party boat scandal of 2005. Even though the team has tried to clean up its act, Simpson's arrest is the 10th time a Vikings has been arrested since 2011, with Chris Cook and Everson Griffen being arrested twice. Some players, such as Adrian Peterson, saw their charges dropped, while Cook was found not guilty of assaulting his girlfriend and on an earlier gun charge.
The Vikings have no choice but to let Simpson go, as his arrest is a slap in the face to a team that signed him following his drug arrest. The Vikings put their trust in Simpson and he let the organization down. When you play professional sports there is a certain degree of accountability that goes along with it. Being arrested while you're on probation and then refusing to take a breath test, which is part of Minnesota's implied consent law, doesn't quite meet that standard.
Simpson is likely to face an additional league suspension, but his biggest problems may come in the courtroom, where the state isn't likely to be as forgiving over his earlier felony drug conviction as the Minnesota Vikings were when they signed him.
Allen Moody is an author and sports bettor living in Nevada. A newspaper sports reporter for 12 years, he has been a fan of the Minnesota Vikings since the 1970s.
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- Jerome Simpson
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