Jerome Simpson has totally suckered the 49ers


Jerome Simpson has done it again. He has suckered another organization into supporting him while he deals with a drug-related suspension.

More from Minnesota Vikings News

If you’re keeping score, Simpson has now been suspended three times by the NFL for drug-related offenses in his 8-year NFL career.

It’s quite a rap sheet:

2012: Simpson suspended for first three games after off-season arrest for trafficking marijuana.

2014: Simpson suspended for first three games after violating league’s substance abuse policy. Gets busted again for DWI while in the middle of appealing suspension.

2015: Simpson suspended for first six games for violating league’s substance abuse policy.

That’s 12 total games lost to suspensions for a wide receiver who has just 8 career touchdowns.

You’d think by now teams would know that this guy is never going to get his act together. But there go the 49ers standing behind Jerome Simpson.

Trent Baalke and the 49ers say they knew Simpson would likely get a big suspension before they signed him. And yes Niners head coach Jim Tomsula has Jerome Simpson’s back just like the camp counselor Leslie Frazier (via

"“He understands there’s no margin for error. I do believe in Jerome. This is going to be a success story,” said Tomsula, who later added: “Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they grow up. That’s where the guy is.”"

How many times is Jerome Simpson going to hit rock bottom? How many times is Jerome Simpson going to seemingly flush his career away only to have another team fall for his sweet talk?

It’s hard for a Viking fan to be too smug about all this. The Vikings were after all the original Suckers for Simpson.

Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson (81) against the Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In their defense, the Vikings had plenty of reason to be enamored with Simpson when they signed him in 2012 after he washed out of Cincinnati.

Think about where the Vikings were back then: Struggling to establish a passing game with Christian Ponder at quarterback and with only Percy Harvin as a viable receiving weapon.

So why not take a chance on a still-young receiver with tons of potential? Just overlook those apparent character issues.

It made all the sense in the world for the Vikings to stand behind Simpson after his 2012 suspension. To believe Simpson when he said he had learned from his mistakes.

Everybody deserves a second chance, right?

Here’s what didn’t make sense: After Simpson’s disappointing 2012 season, the Vikings not only re-signed the receiver for 2013, they also gave him a small pay bump.

Bring him back for another go-around sure, but why the pay bump? Why the show of faith in a player who at that point had done very little to earn it?

I guess the Vikings really liked Jerome Simpson. “He’s such a likable guy,” everyone kept saying. “Such a great guy in the locker room.”

Not so great to the media, as Tom Pelissero famously found out. But good enough on the field (for a team with a messed up QB situation and not much else at WR) to earn another chance in 2014.

But 2014 was the year Jerome Simpson finally ran out of chances with the Vikings.

In November 2013 Simpson was busted for DWI, which resulted in his being suspended for the first 3 games of the ensuing season.

By all indications the Vikings were ready to once again wait out the suspension and welcome Simpson back into the fold. But then it was revealed that Simpson had been busted again for DWI – literally while in the middle of appealing his suspension – and the Vikings finally wised up.

With no-nonsense Mike Zimmer now at head coach and rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater coming in, the Vikings decided they could no longer afford to stand behind Jerome Simpson, talent or no talent.

It only took one bust for trafficking marijuana and two DWI busts for the Vikings to wake up to the possibility that Jerome Simpson might not be that great a guy after all.

Never say the Vikings didn’t give Simpson chances. They gave him too many chances.

That the San Francisco 49ers would give Simpson more chances, even knowing what they know about him from his ridiculous tenure with the Vikings, is frankly stupefying.

That Jim Tomsula would say what he said about Simpson – he’s hit rock bottom, he’s going to grow up – proves what some of us have suspected for years: Jerome Simpson is a far greater con artist than he is a wide receiver.

Talent will get you opportunities in the NFL, and Jerome Simpson is indeed talented, but talent alone can’t explain how Simpson keeps managing to pull it off.

Jerome Simpson missed his true calling in life. He should have been a politician.

Viking fans know only too well how this will all play out for San Francisco.

Jerome will come back from his suspension for his latest “fresh start.” He’ll look great in practice. He’ll get in a game and he’ll look…well, not as good as you expect for a guy with all that talent.

Jerome Simpson is the ultimate tease. He’ll always do just enough to convince you that he’s on the verge. But he’ll never get over the hump.

49ers fans will wise up too eventually. They’ll stop seeing Jerome Simpson as the guy who front-flipped and start seeing him for what he is: A guy who drops balls, doesn’t finish off routes, doesn’t help out his QB by working back to the ball when he scrambles, doesn’t block downfield.

Jerome Simpson is a big talker who doesn’t do the little things. And no, he will never wise up. Jerome Simpson the front-flipper is also a habitual back-slider. Those guys never change.

Jim Tomsula isn’t the first head coach to be fooled into thinking he could help Jerome Simpson turn it around. Leslie Frazier fell into that trap too.

Habitual screw-ups have a way of charming naive do-gooder types. It’s part of their con. It’s why so many women end up married to losers.

Jerome Simpson is great at two things: Talking GMs into giving him money, and talking head coaches into being on his side.

If only he were that good at football.

Next: Mick Tingelhoff enters Hall of Fame

More from The Viking Age