A.J. Jefferson is no longer the Vikings’ problem, having been released by the team within hours of his early Monday morning arrest on domestic violence charges. After reading the details of what happened between him and the alleged victim, you may be glad Jefferson is no longer in purple.
The problems started when Jefferson and his unnamed girlfriend of several years became embroiled in an argument after a night on the town. Things became so heated that Jefferson had to leave to cool off at a neighbor’s house while the girlfriend holed up inside a guest room of the home she shares with Jefferson.
But Jefferson did not cool off. He returned to the house later and confronted the girlfriend because she had been ignoring his texts. That was when things got physical, with Jefferson allegedly strangling the victim, and picking her up by the neck and throwing her out of bed. The attack left the girlfriend unable to breathe, and she was later found to have red marks on the sides of her neck consistent with strangulation.
Eden Prairie police decided to arrest Jefferson. The Vikings moved swiftly, releasing Jefferson from the roster within hours of his being taken into custody. The now-former Viking has been charged with domestic assault and felony domestic assault by strangulation and is being held on $40,000 bond.
Jefferson’s arrest was the third in a string of three off-field incidents that ended in Viking players being placed under arrest. Earlier this month Jerome Simpson was popped for DWI after a late night traffic stop. And just last week, Erin Henderson was also arrested for DWI after a traffic stop.
The spate of arrests led general manager Rick Spielman to release a statement:
“The fact that we have had three recent off field situations is unacceptable and disappointing. Our organization looks at each situation and the circumstances involved to determine our actions with those players and how to best move forward.
“The Vikings have a comprehensive approach with our player development program and excellent resources that are a part of this organization, but certainly we will take a methodical look at how we can improve upon our current programs to prevent these situations in the future.”