NFL Star Receiver Needs Drug Class

by: Mike Miller

Is it just me or do NFL wide receivers get into more trouble than other position players? The Cincinnati Bengals seem to have more than their fair share of players with drug and other legal problems.

Bengals receiver Jerome Simpson could receive a 60-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to a drug-related felony charge according to ESPN as part of an agreement with prosecutors, further clouding his future in the NFL.

The four-year veteran is a free agent after completing his contract with the Bengals. His guilty plea could bring a suspension from the league, which would make him less attractive on the free-agent market.

A Whole Lot of Weed

This drug case began back in September, when a package containing approximately two pounds of marijuana was delivered to his home in northern Kentucky.

The package had been tracked by agents from California. Authorities later searched Simpson's home and found approximately another pound of marijuana. He was indicted on a felony charge of marijuana trafficking.

The agreement also calls for three years' probation, 200 hours of community service and drug treatment.

The agreement stipulates that there is no evidence Simpson was dealing marijuana. Simpson’s attorney said Simpson had the marijuana for personal use ( 3 pounds of it) and was probably sharing it with friends.

The agreement allows for Simpson to be on a work-release program -- leave jail during the day to work -- but the judge will decide if that's appropriate.

The second-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina caught 53 passes for 758 yards and four touchdowns last season as a complement to rookie Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green. His grandest moment -- a flip over a defender to score a touchdown -- became a staple of NFL highlight films.

Simpson had one of the SportsCenter highlights of the year in the NFL last season when he did a heels-over-head flip over Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington at the goal line and landed on his feet in the end zone during a 23-16 win on Dec. 14. Simpson raised both arms in triumph, like a gymnast who had just stuck a landing.

Simpson is one of four Bengals either arrested or indicted since last July, along with linebacker Rey Maualuga, running back Cedric Benson and cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones

Maualuga has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge resulting from an altercation at a downtown Cincinnati bar on Feb. 5. It's his second court case in two years. Maualuga pleaded guilty to drunken driving after police in northern Kentucky said he hit a parking meter and two parked cars in January 2010.

The NFL fined Maualuga two game checks and made him forfeit a two-week share of his signing bonus for violating its conduct policy with the drunken driving case. As a repeat offender under the policy, Maualuga could face a suspension next season, depending upon the outcome of his latest case.

Benson, who is a free agent and is unlikely to return to Cincinnati, was charged with misdemeanor assault last July for an altercation with a former roommate in Texas. He served five days in jail there before the start of the season, and was suspended for one game by the NFL.

Jones, who also is a free agent, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for a disturbance at a downtown bar last July. He was sentenced to a year of probation and community service. Jones has repeatedly been suspended during his seven years with the league, and faces more discipline if he signs with a team.

Wow, a bunch of bad apples on the same team. The Bengals should probably institute a mandatory Ohio drug class for all of its players.