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2012 NFL Free Agency: Wide Receiver Jerome Simpson Set To Visit Rams

The last calendar year for Jerome Simpson has been a tumultuous one, filled with peaks and valleys. He was named a starting wide receiver opposite A.J. Green, had his ups and downs on the field and now has to deal with a marijuana investigation that has been looming for the past six months or so. Because of this drug investigation, Simpson has barely received a sniff of interest from clubs, as they are likely waiting for the result of the investigation and subsequent punishment that's likely to follow from the NFL.

Tonight, The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy tells us that Simpson has gotten his first hint of interest in free agency and it isn't with the Bengals.

Per @jthom1 Jerome Simpson (Bengals) is visiting the Rams on Wednesday. His sentencing on a drug charge is Thursday in Kentucky. 36 minutes ago via Twittelator · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto

It's been assumed that Simpson's best (and presumably only) opportunity would come in Cincinnati because of his impending punishment(s). The No. 2 wide receiver job is up for grabs here and if the team opted to forgo drafting a wide receiver in April, he'd likely have the inside track on winning the job in a competition with Armon Binns. In speaking with the media at the recent owner's meetings, Lewis confidently told everyone that they have a plan for the position and that Simpson could be a part of those plans. If that's the case, that may change with Simpson's upcoming visit to St. Louis.

The Rams have had a gaping hole at wide receiver since Sam Bradford arrived in 2010. They swung a mid-season trade for Brandon Lloyd last year, but Bradford was battling injuries and didn't get to play with him all that much. Lloyd has since left for New England and the Rams have put a small band-aid (figuratively and literally) over the problem by bringing in the veteran, Steve Smith. He likely won't be more than an effective slot player for them, so the team still needs two outside threats. Enter Simpson.

The Rams may have their sights set on Justin Blackmon in the draft, but he could be dropping and the team may want to go in another direction. They could still draft him and take a chance on Simpson alongside the rookie. It seems unlikely, however, that the Rams would jump at signing Simpson without fully knowing the length of his punishments. But, stranger things have happened. If Simpson is willing to sign a minimal deal because he isn't getting any other offers, it's possible that we could see a surprising deal occur.