His 15-day jail sentence for a drug-related charge now completed, receiver Jerome Simpson is asking for forgiveness from Minnesota Vikings fans and vows he's a good person who just made a poor decision.
"Things happen for a reason. The man upstairs wanted me to change. It sucked I had to go through it that way. It made me a stronger, better person," Simpson said in an interview with the Pioneer Press.
Simpson pleaded guilty March 1 to a felony charge resulting from about 2 pounds of marijuana being shipped to his northern Kentucky home in September when he was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. He also was sentenced to three years' probation.
"Everybody makes mistakes. I just want people to kind of forgive me," Simpson told the newspaper.
He will serve a three-game suspension at the start of the 2012 season as a result of the incident. He signed a one-year contract with the Vikings this offseason as a free agent.
"Those 15 days I spent in jail, it was terrible. It sucked," Simpson told the newspaper. "Any kids out there, that's a place you don't want to be. Somebody tells you when to wake up, when to make your bed, when to take a shower, when you can have a snack. That's an obstacle you don't want to face. I want all kids to learn not to go down that path and to learn from me."
Simpson made perhaps the play of the 2011 season when he flipped over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington and landed on both feet in the end zone to score a touchdown. He finished the season with a 50 receptions, 725 yards and four touchdowns. But his September arrest made his NFL future uncertain before he signed with Minnesota last month.
"I'm not a drug dealer or anything. I'm not out there like that. I just made a poor decision," Simpson told the Pioneer Press.
He said he wants to help others not make the same mistake he did.
"I paid my debt to society. I want to help people not make the same decision I made," he told the newspaper. "One of my goals is to help people not go down that path like I did."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.