At the same time that Vikings are trying to persuade politicians to approve a stadium bill that would provide nearly $600 million in public money for the construction of a $1 billion facility, they’re also contemplating the possibility of signing a player who recently pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge.
“Left Hand? I’d like to introduce you to Mr. Right Hand.”
Yes, receiver Jerome Simpson is entitled to a second chance after he pays his 15-day debt to society and serves whatever suspension may be imposed on him by the Commissioner. But at a time when the Vikings’ stadium situation is hitting full boil, does it make sense to flirt publicly with a player who has admitted to having a turkey bag containing something other than turkey shipped to his home?
Earlier today, Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman told 1500 ESPN in the Twin Cities that the team is still in the process of deciding what to do about receiver Jerome Simpson. Here’s our suggestion: Do nothing until the Legislature conducts within the next week or two an up-or-down vote on the stadium bill.
At this delicate juncture in Vikings history, the last thing the people who may finally be warming to the possibility of approving the stadium deal need is a flood of phone calls from constituents who object to the notion that the purple people are bringing a “pothead” to town.
This isn’t about whether marijuana should or shouldn’t be legal or whether NFL teams should sign players with a history of off-field incidents. This is about the interplay between P.R. and politics. Until the stadium situation reaches a conclusion, there’s no reason to embrace the risk that arises from acquiring a player whose presence could create unwanted controversy.