Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


NFL rubber stamps suspension for Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson

Posted by: under Vikings Updated: June 11, 2012 - 2:27 PM

Well, it's now official. Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson will be on the shelf for the first three games of 2012, suspended by the league for "violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse."

The NFL released a statement on the punishment today and revealed that Simpson will also be fined an additional game check.

Simpson's suspension is in connection with an incident last fall during which authorities intercepted a package on its way from California to the receiver's residence in Kentucky. The package was found to contain 2.5 pounds of marijuana. Authorities later entered Simpson's home and found additonal marijuana plus drug parapharnelia.

Simpson was arrested and originally indicted on a felony drug trafficking charge. He later plead to a lesser felony charge of being involved in a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.

Simpson spent 15 days in jail in early April. Shortly after he was released he visited the Vikings and signed with the team just before the NFL Draft.

In 2011 in Cincinnati, Simpson had 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns. Since joining the Vikings, he has quickly developed rapport with quarterback Christian Ponder and generated some buzz with his speed and athleticism. The Vikings believe Simpson will add juice to the offense in 2012. The league's discipline, however, means the 26-year-old won't be able to play his first regular season game until Sept. 30 when the Vikings visit Detroit.

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