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.


Vikings' Simpson charged with two counts of DWI

Posted by: Chris Miller under Vikings off the field Updated: November 13, 2013 - 11:05 AM

Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been formally charged with two counts of DWI following his arrest early Saturday morning.

Simpson faces a gross misdemeanor of DWI third degree (refusing to submit to a chemical test) and a misdemeanor charge of DWI fourth degree (operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol).

His first appearance in Hennepin County court is scheduled for Dec. 11.

Simpson apologized to the team on Monday, although he didn't elaborate on the arrest.

The gross misdemeanor charge has a maximum sentence of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine. The misdemeanor has a maximum of 90 days and/or $1,000.

Simpson was arrested early Saturday after a state trooper responded to a stalled car blocking lanes on Interstate 394 out of downtown Minneapolis.

Simpson, who leads the team in receiving yards this season, was taken to the Hennepin County jail, where he refused a breath test. He was booked at 5:39 a.m. and released on $12,000 bond early in the afternoon.

Simpson, 27, was arrested after he exited his Dodge Charger when a trooper arrived at the stalled car. He showed signs of intoxication and flunked a field sobriety test. Simpson denied he was drinking and said he was coming from the Pourhouse, which is in the Lumber Exchange Building on S. 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

When Simpson signed with the Vikings in 2012, he was dealing with the repercussions of a three-game suspension by the NFL stemming from a drug arrest and was in the first year of three years’ probation ordered by a Kentucky judge. In April 2012, Simpson was sentenced in Kentucky to 15 days in jail and put on probation for three years, along with 200 hours of community service. He originally was charged there on March 1, 2012, with felony charges after marijuana was shipped to his home in Kentucky. In a plea agreement, authorities agreed that Simpson apparently wanted the marijuana for his own use, and that of his friends. Simpson’s punishment stemmed from a September 2011 crime in which authorities intercepted a package containing 2.5 pounds of marijuana on its way to his house. Police later searched Simpson’s home in northern Kentucky and found six more pounds of marijuana plus drug paraphernalia.

Though the former Cincinnati Bengals receiver originally had been indicted on the felony drug-trafficking charge, Simpson later entered a guilty plea to a lesser felony charge of “being involved in a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.

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