3:46pm: Simpson’s suspension was initially going to be for 10 games, but was reduced to six games through the appeal process, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.
3:37pm: An offseason littered with bad news for the 49ers got a little worse for the club today. Niners wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s policy and program on substances of abuse, the team announced today in a press release.
Simpson, who was suspended for three games to start the 2014 season, faces his latest penalty as a result of a July incident in Bloomington, Minnesota. The veteran receiver initially faced misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, driving with an open bottle and violating limited license restrictions for that legal run-in last July.
“The probability of a suspension was known when we signed Jerome,” general manager Trent Baalke said, per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “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.”
While Simpson has had his share of off-field issues, he had productive seasons on the field in 2011 and 2013. The numbers the 29-year-old posted for the Bengals in ’11 (50 receptions, 725 yards, four touchdowns) were nearly identical to the ones he put up for Minnesota in ’13 (48 receptions, 726 yards, one TD).
Along with Torrey Smith, Simpson was one of the free agents brought in this season by Baalke and company to replace a slew of departing players, including receivers Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson, and Brandon Lloyd.