Rams talking to WR Jerome Simpson
BY JIM THOMAS
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Suffice it to say the Rams are exploring all options when it comes to finding wide receiver help. That process now includes free-agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson of the Cincinnati Bengals. Simpson, 26, was scheduled to arrive Tuesday evening in St. Louis for a visit and will work out for the Rams today.
On Thursday, Simpson is scheduled to be sentenced in Covington, Ky., after pleading guilty March 1 to a marijuana possession-related charge. Simpson also may face an NFL suspension.
But Simpson, 6-2, 190, probably will end up playing for someone this year, and the Rams felt he was worth a look.
Simpson was selected by Cincinnati in the second round of the 2008 draft out of Coastal Carolina but played sparingly in his first three NFL seasons. He appeared in only 13 games with four starts from 2008 through 2010, catching only 21 passes.
He had a breakout year last season with 50 catches for 725 yards and four touchdowns, including the catch of the year in the NFL — his front flip or somersault over Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington for a score Dec. 24.
Were it not for his legal problems, Simpson would have attracted considerable interest in free agency. At the NFL owners meeting last week, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he was open to the idea of offering Simpson a new contract.
Simpson isn't the only wide receiver visiting Rams Park this week. Jerricho Cotchery, most recently with Pittsburgh, also was scheduled to arrive Tuesday for a visit that will conclude today. Cotchery, 29, averaged 67 catches for 841 yards over a five-year period with the New York Jets (2006-10), a period in which current Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer ran the Jets' offense.
New Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar signed a two-year deal worth $3.05 million. But it includes $2 million of playing time incentives, so the deal can max out at $5.05 million. Dunbar gets a $1 million signing bonus, plus base salaries of $750,000 in 2012 and $1.3 million in 2013.
Nike unveiled its new uniforms throughout the league Tuesday, and for the Rams the biggest change is that the gold pants are no more. The Rams will have two jersey colors (blue and white) and two pants colors (blue and white). The throwback uniforms will remain the same.
Former Rams center Jason Brown is paying a free-agent visit to San Francisco this weekend. ... The Rams' preseason schedule will be announced today. ... Quarterback Tom Brandstater has signed a one-year deal with the team.