Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.
Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.
Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.
Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson is back at Winter Park today after traveling to New York with his lawyer, David Valentini, for a Monday disciplinary hearing to appeal a three-game NFL suspension stemming from a DWI arrest last year. Simpson believes the hearing “went great.”
“I just told them the truth, told them the truth,” the 28-year-old said. “The records and the facts show what happened.”
Asked what he thought his suspension should be reduced to, Simpson replied, “I don’t know. That’s up to the discretion of them.”
Simpson avoided jail time in January after pleading guilty to careless driving and third-degree DWI from a Nov. 9 arrest. He was placed on one-year probation and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service in public schools.
The Vikings, aware of a possible suspension, re-signed Simpson to a one-year deal this offseason.
It was the second suspension for Simpson, who was banned three games by the NFL after a drug arrest in September 2011. Simpson was indicted on a felony drug-trafficking change, but later plead to a lesser felony charge of “being involved in a prohibited act relating to controlled substances.” He was sentenced in Kentucky to 15 days in jail in April 2012.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner said this morning that the Vikings will be prepared if Simpson’s suspension is upheld, saying that the team has contingency plans in place for a variety of situations.
“You have to have a varied plan,” he said. “Unfortunately in this game, guys miss [games] — whether it’s a case when a guy misses because off an off-the-field thing or we could be in the opening game and someone we’re counting on to play a big role sprains his ankle on the third play. And we have to plan to go play and do the things we want to do. We have plans and there are certain plays that Simp is really good on. There’s other guys that have to fill in if he’s not in for that play.”
Turner believes the Vikings have other viable deep threats, including Greg Jennings, to fill the void.
Meanwhile, Simpson made it clear that will accept the league’s final decision and move forward.
“I’m just ready to get it behind me,” he said.
|Tampa||1||Top 7th Inning|
|LA Clippers||93||4th Qtr 0:39|
|Golden State||5:00 PM|
|Oklahoma City||5:30 PM|
|New Orleans||7:00 PM|
|Los Angeles||3:00 PM|
|Tampa Bay||4:00 PM|
|St. Louis||8:30 PM|
|SMU||36||2nd Half 15:57|
|Quinnipiac||40||2nd Half 15:10|
|Fairfield||38||2nd Half 14:59|
|Marist||32||2nd Half 12:09|
|Iona||41||2nd Half 11:43|
|Oregon State||7||1st Half 11:36|
|South Florida||8||1st Half 10:41|
|Michigan State||3:00 PM|
|Arizona State||7:30 PM|
|Washington St||8:30 PM|
|Coll of Charleston||65|
|Rhode Island||33||2nd Half 13:48|
|Richmond||28||2nd Half 15:50|
|Davidson||40||2nd Half 9:04|
|St Bonaventure||30||2nd Half 11:40|
|George Mason||28||2nd Half 11:16|
|(22) George Washington||67|
|Indiana||35||2nd Half 10:48|
|(12) Texas A&M||39||2nd Half 15:40|
|Ole Miss||25||2nd Half 14:56|
|(11) Miss State||35|
|Clemson||43||2nd Half 10:31|
|Maine||38||2nd Half 8:20|
|Vermont||37||2nd Half 8:39|
|Quinnipiac||49||2nd Half 15:42|
|Saint Peters||38||2nd Half 11:09|
|(4) Notre Dame||56||2nd Half 8:53|
|Wisconsin||44||2nd Half 12:18|
|Stony Brook||35||2nd Half 10:38|
|Northeastern||28||2nd Half 9:21|
|William & Mary||48|
|St Johns||43||2nd Half 10:06|
|James Madison||54||2nd Half 11:41|
|Towson||4||1st Half 11:50|
|Illinois State||2||1st Half 14:30|
|Southern Ill||5||1st Half 13:40|
|Northern Iowa||5||1st Half 12:00|
|Minnesota||16||1st Half 10:32|
|(15) North Carolina||9||1st Half 14:04|
|Alabama||11||1st Half 12:00|
|(9) Florida State||14||1st Half 11:30|
|Arkansas||10||1st Half 9:13|
|Georgia||10||1st Half 11:57|
|Dayton||23||1st Half 11:30|
|Drake||10||1st Half 13:24|
|(10) Arizona State|
|(19) Stanford||3:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||3:00 PM|
|(2) South Carolina||4:00 PM|
|Ohio State||4:00 PM|
Poll: If the state's $1.9B surplus were "fun money," how would you spend it?