Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman held a pre-Draft press conference Tuesday and he touched on a number of hot topics.
The whole thing can be viewed by clicking here.
I have watched it a few times now, and here are my notes:
January 20-25 - Senior Bowl
January 26 - Pro Bowl
February 17 - First day of franchise / transition player designation
February 19-25 - Scouting Combine
March 11 - Free Agency begins
March 23 - Owner's Meeting
April 7 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with new HC
April 17 - 2014 Schedule Released
April 21 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with returning HC
May 2 - Deadline for RFAs to sign offers
May 8-10 - NFL Draft
Vikings have agreed to terms on a one year deal with WR Jerome Simpson. Even tho he's suspended to start the season he's got a lot of talent
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) April 24, 2012
Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com reports the Vikings have signed wide receiver Jerome Simpson to a one year deal. This news comes right after it was reported that Simpson would be facing a three game suspension this season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. According to ESPN, Simpson “was sentenced earlier this month to 15 days in jail and three years’ probation after pleading guilty to a felony drug charge in Kentucky.” Originally, Simpson received a felony charge of marijuana trafficking after it was found out that two pounds of marijuana were shipped to his home. However, Simpson was able to get the charges reduced to “a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.”
The full details of the deal are unknown at this point. As soon as they become available, we will provide another update. Considering Simpson’s recent legal issues and his three game suspension, one would imagine the contract is very small and lined with clauses.
If Simpson manages to turn a page and stay out of trouble, he could provide the Vikings with the deep threat they’ve needed to stretch the field.
The decision to pursue free agent receiver Jerome Simpson is a curious one for a team that has plenty of image issues like the Vikings. Even more curious, is the decision to make their interest known during the week in which their image may never be more important to their future.
“I’m not going to go into whether we’re going to sign him or not,” Rick Spielman told 1500 ESPN.
Spielman did, however, make a point of explaining how deep they are digging to see if Simpson might be worth the risk after the recent debacle that landed him 15 days in jail for a drug related felony.
“We’re in that process right now of just going through the discussion and how we feel. But I can tell you — not just in his case, any case — if there’s a guy that has a character concern, we’re going to do everything we can to turn every stone over. You wouldn’t believe how deep we went into the calls to different people that aren’t even involved with football to make sure that we felt very comfortable bringing him in here for this visit.”
Spielman also said that he and his team did plenty of research prior to even deciding to bring Simpson in for a visit.
“There was a lot of research done before he came in on his visit,” Spielman said. “I think from our ownership on down, after we’ve gathered all our information and talked to numerous people in all walks of his life (about) what type of character kid he is and what happened and why he got put in that situation and listening to him (Saturday) talk to all the people at our organization … if we do sign or we do decide to sign a Jerome Simpson, it’s going to be something that we felt comfortable enough with to bring into this organization, to give him a chance here.”
Simpson left Minnesota on Sunday without a contract.
Jerome Simpson’s visit with the Minnesota Vikings apparently went “incredibly well” and the Vikings are still in the process of doing their due diligence regarding his felony conviction, 15 day jail sentence, and probable league-imposed suspension.
The Rams have also expressed some interest in Simpson and the Bengals are reportedly still open to seeing him return, but Simpson has been a pretty toxic free agent following the incident involving drugs being delivered to his home. Some are questioning the wisdom of even entertaining the idea publically of bringing in a felon when the stadium situation in Minnesota seems to be at the tipping point.
Simpson left Minnesota on Sunday without a deal in place, according to the Pioneer Press. The Vikings presumably want to know exactly what kind of suspension Simpson is facing, and possibly waiting until after the stadium situation has (hopefully) been solved, before signing the athletic receiver.
With a suspension almost certain, it will be interesting to see what type of contract Simpson gets on the open market this offseason.
The other day I submitted myself to the torture of re-watching the “Missing Rings” special on my DVR about the 1998 Vikings. While watching the part where they discussed Cris Carter and all of the character issues that landed him on the open market for the Vikings to snag, I couldn’t help think about current free agent Jerome Simpson.
Simpson is by far the most talented receiver available right now, but teams are mostly acting allergic to the 26 year old after a substantial amount of marijuana in his position got him 15 days in jail and a three year probation period (and a likely NFL suspension). Of course, one more slip up by the cart-wheeling receiver and would certainly face a major suspension.
Simpson has improved over his first four NFL seasons with the Bengals and 2011 was his best from a production standpoint. He had 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns.
After only having received a visit invitation from the St. Louis Rams, the Vikings have decided to bring Simpson in for a visit of their own on Friday.
The interest could be a signal that the Vikings don’t actually covet Justin Blackmon with the third overall pick, contrary to what Rick Spielman said yesterday.
Or, for the conspiracy theorists in the room, it could signal that Spielman actually does want Blackmon but is trying to make it appear like he doesn’t.
Or they just want to see what this kid is all about. Plain and simple.
A number of weeks ago, Brett and I had a little side discussion about the possibility of the Vikings trading Jared Allen this offseason. We were even thinking about doing a little back-and-forth feature at the time, as we knew it was inevitable that some other media outlet would bring up this possibility, but we never quite managed to get around to it.
Now that I am back from a long work week, however, I took some time to review all the comments from the last few days and one jumped out to me.
In the comment, a reader says that he heard on a local radio station that a rumor is making the rounds that the Vikings are possibly (could be, maybe, potentially, maybe) considering entertaining offers for their stud right end.
Earlier this offseason, Rick Spielman went out of his way to say that Adrian Peterson was the only player that was off the table in terms of an early departure, which makes sense considering the blockbuster deal they just signed him to. He easily could have included Jared Allen in that statement, but didn’t.
So, it makes sense that the Vikings won’t trade Peterson, but would an Allen trade make sense?
First, let’s take a look at some possible reasons to consider it an option:
Per Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Vikings added linebacker Marvin Mitchell. Details of the contract are currently unknown, but if a majority off the free agency signings this offseason are any indication, it is probably a low-risk, minimum, short-term contract.
Mitchell, the former Miami Dolphin, entered the NFL in 2007 when he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round. Last season with the Dolphins, Mitchell “recorded 30 tacles, one sack, one interception and one forced fumble…”
Do not expect Mitchell to be an instant fix at linebacker. Instead, the signing is probably just an attempt to add depth to a thin position and bring in some special teams assistance.
An interesting note: Marvin Mitchell was a member of the Saints during the [horrid] 2009 NFC Championship Game. In other words, Mitchell may have been involved in the ‘Bountygate’ scandal. The move suggests that maybe Remi Ayodele really was released for reasons other than his [supposed] involvement in ‘Bountygate.’