NFL Suspends 49ers WR Jerome Simpson for six Games

NFL Suspends 49ers WR Jerome Simpson for six Games

Jerome Simpson, a leading candidate to be the 49ers’ No. 3 wide receiver, has been suspended the first six games of the season, stemming from a July 2014 arrest and previous off-field incidents.

Simpson, 29, has been arrested three times on marijuana- and/or alcohol-related charges since 2012 and served two three-game NFL suspensions.

The Vikings released Simpson in September when he was completing the end a three-game suspension stemming from a DWI arrest in November 2013. Minnesota severed ties because they learned Simpson had been arrested in July 2014 on misdemeanor charges of having marijuana and an open bottle of alcohol in his car while driving on a restricted driver’s license.

It’s believed his six-game suspension is connected to his last arrest, although an NFL spokesman said he couldn’t comment on the specifics of Simpson’s latest suspension. In March, the 49ers signed Simpson, who didn’t play in the NFL last year, with the understanding that a suspension was likely.

“The probability of a suspension was known when we signed Jerome,” general manager Trent Baalke said. “Since joining the 49ers, Jerome has proven to be a great teammate. Although he will not be able to participate in the first six weeks of the season, Jerome has done everything asked of him, both on and off the field. We are in full support of the NFL’s decision, and look forward to Jerome’s future contributions to our organization.”

Simpson can participate in all offseason practices and preseason games. He is eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, Oct. 19, following the 49ers’ game against the Ravens the previous day.
In May, Simpson spoke to The Chronicle about the 49ers’ decision to sign him.

“It’s no secret about my past,” he said. “I told them straight up everything that’s happened. And they did a lot of homework on me. That’s my past. I have a clean slate and I’m just coming in here and working. I’m committed to not making the same mistakes.”

The 49ers’ wide receiver corps includes Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington and Quinton Patton. Simpson’s season-opening suspension increases the chances impressive undrafted rookie DeAndrew White will make the initial 53-man roster.