Jerome Simpson, slapped with a six-game suspension on Tuesday afternoon for issues he had purportedly before signing this offseason with the San Francisco 49ers, called the penalty “fair” following practice.
“I'm just blessed to be with this organization of people that stand behind me, really believe in Jerome Simpson,” the receiver told reporters. “I'm just really committed to proving the people that are behind me right. That I can turn it around and be a success story, and just prove people wrong and use all my natural abilities to go out here and catch this football.”
With Simpson’s legal issues -- he was cut by the Minnesota Vikings while serving a three-game suspension for reckless driving last September after it was revealed he had been arrested two months earlier “for misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, driving with an open bottle and violating limited license restrictions after he was pulled over” -- the Niners assumed he would be facing some league-mandated suspension.
And they still signed him to a two-year contract.
Plus, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the league actually lowered the suspension from 10 games to six, purportedly because he did not play a down last season.
But Simpson had also already served a suspension for a marijuana-related arrest in 2011.
“Look, there’s consequences to everything you do,” said Niners rookie coach Jim Tomsula, per the Associated Press. “Jerome was out of football for a year. We know there were things in the past year, what he's doing now, he's doing everything we're asking him to do. He's on a good plan. He also understands there's no margin for error.
“I do believe in Jerome. And I think this is going to be a success story."
Simpson had been in contention for the 49ers’ No. 3 receiver spot.
“The coaches here, ownership, they believed in me,” Simpson said, per the AP. “They did a background check. I came in for a workout, interview. I just put everything out on the table and told the truth. Just come here and work hard and just prove these guys right, that they did make a great decision.”