The Vikings re-signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson to a one-year deal Friday for the third consecutive offseason despite a possible suspension.
An NFL spokesman said the league is reviewing a Nov. 9 arrest in Minneapolis after which Simpson pleaded guilty to careless driving and third-degree DWI charges. Simpson received 120 hours of community service in public schools and a one-year probation.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said there were “circumstances” in his arrest, and head coach Mike Zimmer, who has previously worked with Simpson in Cincinnati, spoke to him before the signing.
“We felt confident enough and comfortable enough after the new coaching staff had met with him and understood the circumstances behind the last arrest that we re-signed him back to a one-year deal,” Spielman said.
Simpson’s signing gives offensive coordinator Norv Turner a vertical threat. The Vikings now have four solid pass-catching options with receivers Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson and Simpson to go with tight end Kyle Rudolph.
A second-round pick out of Coastal Carolina in 2008, Simpson had a career-high 726 receiving yards last season and a 15.1-yards-per-catch average. He recorded his only touchdown in two seasons with the Vikings last year.
As the season progressed, Simpson’s reps were reduced by the emergence of Patterson, who made the Pro Bowl as a specialist.
Simpson is the first wide receiver the Vikings signed this offseason, but don’t be surprised if they add another.