Next likely step for Simpson is suspension

The good news for Bengals free agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson is his 15-day jail sentence will allow him to participate in a team's offseason program (that is, when a team signs him).

The bad news for Simpson is he likely won't be suiting up at the start of the regular season.

Simpson was sentenced to 15 days in jail and three years' probation Thursday for a felony charge resulting from about two pounds of marijuana shipped to his northern Kentucky home in September. That is less jail time than the 60 days recommended by prosecutors in a plea agreement.

The NFL, though, hasn't had its say on the matter yet. And, as you can tell by the bounty scandal, the league is not as lenient as the legal system. It's expected that the league will suspend Simpson at least four games.

Simpson might have some options on where to play next season because NFL teams apparently can't resist a somersaulting wide receiver who will come at a bargain rate. The Rams flew in Simpson for a visit before today's sentencing, and the Bengals haven't ruled out re-signing him. As I blogged last month, the Bengals need to part ways with Simpson even though they have yet to address the No. 2 wide receiver spot.

In addition to his jail sentence, Simpson also will have to serve 200 hours of community service, undergo drug testing and pay a $7,500 fine.