Jerome Simpson glad to be with Vikings despite paycut

Jerome Simpson had the best season of his NFL career in 2013 and yet his salary went from $2.3 million to just $1 million.

Simpson, 28, was arrested in November on the suspicion of drunken driving. He eventually pleaded guilty to two lesser charges but coupled with his previous suspension in 2012 for mailing himself marijuana in 2011 Simpson placed himself in a tough spot.

“I can’t lie. I was definitely surprised that I get paid less than what I got last year,” Simpson told the Pioneer Press after Wednesday’s organized team activity session. “I had my best numbers. But I guess when you got that negative thing on you, they kind of got you behind the 8-ball.”

In 2013, Simpson caught 48 passes for a career best 726 yards.

“I know I’m worth more than what (the current contract) was,” Simpson said. “But I made my bed, so I got to lay in it. I got to just keep improving and move on and make plays. When it’s time to get paid or whatever and get the contract I deserve, then it’s going to happen.”

While others contacted Simpson, he told the Pioneer Press that his first choice was the Vikings.

“I really wanted to come back (to Minnesota),” he said. “That was my first option.”

Simpson played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2008-2011 while new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator.