Wishing Simpson well

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on April 25, 2012 – 6:15 am

In the end, the Bengals didn’t get into a bidding war for Jerome Simpson.

Sure, they wanted him back and they had contract talks. But he ended up in Minnesota on a one-year deal and that tells you a lot. The Vikes were more aggressive, more adamant he’d get a shot. The big thing it says is probably the best thing for both sides. He needs a new venue to refresh a career that can still be big. And the Bengals needed to move past a guy that managed to be frustrating in two very different offenses and exhaust a batch of different coaches when it came to execution.

But this is not a bad guy. If anything, his departure mirrors the contradictions of his four-year career. He left Tuesday after serving 15 days in jail on a drug charge and the NFL handed him a three-game suspension and yet he was one of the more active and generous Bengals ever when it came to community endeavors and charitable functions.

Hometown Huddle. Taste of Cincinnati. Bowling for Autism. A Marvin Lewis Community Fund gig. You name it, Simpson was always there smiling and signing.

Dave Butz, his agent, recalled Tuesday the days long before last September when marijuana was delivered to Simpson’s Northern Kentucky home. Butz would get a call from Simpson and more often than not it was about giving rather than taking.

One time the call wasn’t even from Simpson. It was from a guy saying he was from near Simpson’s hometown of Reidsville, N.C. and he told Butz that Simpson had told him he’d pay for a scoreboard at a local rec center. When Butz called him, Simpson told him, yes, indeed, it was on the up and up.

And there were the 89 backpacks Simpson bought for a Reidsville school to match his uniform number. And there were the 89 coats he donated to underprivileged children to the community.

“Very generous guy,” Butz said. “And he always has been from Day One.”

Even before last year’s problems, Simpson was a hard guy to figure. He had a running feud with the media that no one could really quite figure because he never played until late in his third season. It seemed to stem from his belief that the media had built him up when he was drafted and then ripped him when he didn’t play. All true and yet all facts of life in the NFL, and that seemed to be a hard transition for him.

And yet, when he did deal with the media he was great. Enthusiastic, pleasant, polite.

It was the same thing on the field. On one play he’d make ESPN. On the next, they couldn’t find him.

It just didn’t work here. It happens.

But he gave back. He just didn’t take on his way through. And how many guys do that?

“I’ve worked with 50, 60 NFL players over the years and he’s at the top of the list when it comes to that,” Butz said.

That’s why you wish guys like that well.

Posted in Hobson's Choice | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Wishing Simpson well”

  1. By tepidfan31 on Apr 25, 2012 | Reply

    Kudos, kudos for bringing in Jim McNally in as a consultant. Jim is the absolute guru of the offensive line. Remember the number of guys taken in the late rounds, sows ears that became silk purses, for the Bengals when Paul coached. I know Jim personally, a great guy and one of the NFL’s best coaches. Again, Kudos to whoever brought him back.

  2. By flp88 on Apr 25, 2012 | Reply

    I didn’t realize how much community service Jerome had performed – my respect goes out, as well as good wishes to him in Minnesota. With that said, I believe it was a good decision to move on. We invested a 2nd round draft pick, and 3 years’ worth of a roster spot for basically one inconsistent season as a starter. He has upside, and could blossom into a major talent, but the clock is ticking. We’re better off investing in receivers that ‘get it’ right away, like Green or Shipley. When a 4-year vet with all the athleticism in the world can’t get open consistently, it’s probably best to move on…

  3. By theredbengal on Apr 25, 2012 | Reply

    No one gave Jerome more grief than myself. I wanted him cut after he couldn’t get on the field in the final weeks of ’09 when the team was in desperate need of another WR. He showed signs of promise last year, but was just way too inconsistent. I wish him well. Now fellow who dey’ers, Happy 2012 Draft’s Eve! Christmas comes in late April for who dey’ers. The guys it sounds like that are in play for the Bengals are DeCastro (OG), Gilmore (CB), Kirkpatrick (CB), Upshaw (DE), Glenn (OG), Micheal Floyd (WR), Stephen Hill (WR), Brockers (DT). I can’t wait!

  4. By mwindle1973 on Apr 25, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve never had a problem with Jerome. I just think he has trouble picking up playbooks, and that probably had more to do with us not outbidding another team than anything else that has happened. It’s a shame, he was in a contract year, and was set up to have a breakout season. Overall I agree with flp88 on this one. He was one of the most athletic players in the league, going into his 5th year, who was chosen in the 2nd round, and he still considered to be developing. I also think coach Lewis has stated before that he should’ve gotten Jerome on the field sooner than he did. YOu have to remember that at that time he was drafted Brat was OC, and Brat was very cautious about playing unexperienced players. And until 2011 Lewis was right there with him. THis is where Brown deserves some credit. It was he who while agreeing with Lewis and Brat decided they must find a way to get younger players developed faster. Mainly by getting them into game situations on a faster timeline. That’s an important decision because less than six months after making it, we would also be deciding to draft a 2nd round rookie with the intent of turning the keys over to him.

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