Bengals might keep Simpson despite possible suspension

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Coach Marvin Lewis says the Cincinnati Bengals are open to offering receiver Jerome Simpson another contract even though he could be headed to jail and faces a suspension from the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.

Lewis told reporters at the NFL's Annual Meeting on Tuesday that he wouldn't "rule it out" that the club could offer the free-agent receiver another contract. Simpson has spent his four NFL seasons with the Bengals.

Simpson pleaded guilty on March 1 to a drug-related charge resulting from two pounds of marijuana shipped to his home in September. Prosecutors recommended a 60-day jail stay. A judge will decide whether to lessen the punishment at a hearing on April 5.

Simpson also faces a possible four-game suspension from the NFL.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press