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Minnesota Vikings free agents: WR Jerome Simpson

Jerome Simpson (81) makes a touchdown catch against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium last season.
Jerome Simpson (81) makes a touchdown catch against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium last season.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Number: 81.

Height: 6-2.

Weight: 190.

College: Coastal Carolina.

Experience: 6.

2013 Statistics: 16 games, 8 starts, 48 receptions, 726 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 1 fumble

Career Statistics: 57 games, 40 starts, 2,004 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, 5 fumbles, 3 fumbles lost

Outlook: Simpson’s likelihood of returning to the Vikings next season may have been affected greater by Cordarrelle Patterson’s development than anything he did.

Simpson bounced back after an injury and suspension-filled season with the second best statistically season of his six-year career. However, Patterson’s emergence as a big-play threat along with the presence of Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright could make Simpson expendable. Younger, bigger receivers like Rodney Smith (6-6, 219), Greg Childs (6-3, 217) and Adam Thielen (6-3, 200) are promising prospects that will push for more playing time this offseason.

It will likely come to his asking price and cap number. The Vikings can use his length and speed on the outside, but have needs at other positions that require more attention than the wide receiver spot.

In the end, there just may not be enough room for Simpson. There are a lot of reasons to keep Simpson, but just as many to let him walk in free agency as well.