EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Minnesota Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson was in New York on Monday to appeal the three-game suspension the league was prepared to hand down for his drunken driving arrest this past November.
Simpson's attorney, David Valentini, said he was one of two lawyers representing the receiver at the hearing, in which the attorneys argued Simpson should not face a suspension for his arrest Nov. 9 in Minneapolis. Simpson later pleaded guilty to careless driving and refusing to submit to a chemical test, and he completed his community service requirement for the offense this spring.
Valentini said the league had regarded Simpson as a repeat offender of its substance abuse policy, even though the incident was his first alcohol-related offense. He was suspended for the first three games of the 2012 season after he pled guilty to mailing two pounds of marijuana to his house in Kentucky while he was playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. Simpson served 15 days in jail for that offense and was placed on three years' probation. Following his drunken-driving arrest, Simpson's probation was transferred from Kentucky to Minnesota.
The Vikings re-signed Simpson to a one-year, $1 million deal this spring, and he is currently listed as the No. 3 receiver on the team's depth chart. He caught 48 passes for 726 yards and a touchdown the past season, but with no guaranteed money left in Simpson's 2014 deal, the Vikings would face no penalty for cutting the receiver.
Coach Mike Zimmer declined to comment on Simpson's absence from practice Monday.