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Updated: April 21st, 2012 7:05pm
No decision yet on Jerome Simpson, who continues to meet with Vikings

No decision yet on Jerome Simpson, who continues to meet with Vikings

by Tom Pelissero
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Jerome Simpson remained in the Twin Cities on Saturday evening as the Minnesota Vikings tried to get to know the athletic receiver whose on-field inconsistency and off-field transgressions have kept him on the free-agent market.

Simpson, 26, arrived at Vikings headquarters on Saturday to meet with team officials and undergo a physical. He was scheduled to stay in town overnight and depart on Sunday unless a deal is reached.

The Vikings, who begin their offseason program on Monday, no doubt are intrigued by Simpson's combination of size (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) and speed (ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at the 2008 NFL scouting combine). He set career highs with 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games (14 starts) last season with Cincinnati.

But Simpson pled guilty on March 1 to a felony charge resulting from about 2 pounds of marijuana being shipped to his northern Kentucky home in September. He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation and also could face a suspension under the NFL's substance abuse and/or personal conduct policies.

The Vikings spent much of last season dealing with fallout from another felony case, which ended with Chris Cook's March 15 acquittal on domestic assault charges. So, it's no surprise they're going to extra lengths to vet Simpson before deciding whether to make an offer.

Receiver is one of the Vikings' more prominent needs entering the NFL Draft, which begins on Thursday night. Their only veteran signing this offseason at the position was Bryan Walters, who has spent most of the past two years bouncing on and off San Diego's practice squad.

A second-round draft pick (46th overall) out of Coastal Carolina in 2008, Simpson's NFL career was a resounding disappointment before he broke through last season. In 29 career games, Simpson has 71 receptions for 1,004 yards and seven touchdowns.

Simpson previously met with the St. Louis Rams.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Chris Cook, Bryan Walters