It’s never wise for a player to be arrested in the weeks preceding his arrival on the free-agent market. It’s even less wise for a player to plead guilty to felony charges less than a fortnight away from free agency.
But that’s what Bengals (for now) receiver Jerome Simpson has done. WLWT in Cincinnati reports that Simpson has pleaded guilty to one felony drug charge arising from the arrival of a package full of marijuana at his residence early in the 2011 NFL season.
Under the plea agreement, Simpson faces up to 60 days in jail with work release (does Nike make an officially-licensed ankle bracelet?), three years probation, and 200 hours community service.
Sentencing will occur next month. In addition to potential jail time, Simpson surely faces a suspension from the league office.
None of this means he’ll be shunned. If a team is willing to endure the temporary P.R. fallout, Simpson will be available at a relative bargain.
Which likely means he’ll re-sign with the Bengals.