Simms denies he said he was using marijuana
Police: Ex-Horn drove while impaired by drugs
NEW YORK — Police say Tennessee Titans backup quarterback Chris Simms told them he’d been smoking marijuana before he was stopped while driving Thursday — but he says he was just talking about cigarettes.
Simms, who played for the Texas Longhorns from 1999 to 2002, called the case against him “very weak” as he left a Manhattan courthouse after his arraignment on charges of driving while impaired by drugs.
“I think it speaks for itself,” Simms, 29, said as he walked to a waiting car,
Continued from C1 with his pregnant wife on his arm. Released without bail, he’s due back in court Aug. 23 on the misdemeanor and traffic-violation charges.
Police and prosecutors said Simms slurred his words, had bloodshot eyes and smelled of marijuana when stopped early Thursday at a downtown Manhattan police checkpoint, with his wife, Danielle, in the car.
According to a court complaint, Simms told an officer he’d been “smoking marijuana in the car earlier.”
But Simms’ lawyer, Nathan Semmel, said the quarterback didn’t say that, and wouldn’t do it.
“My client never admitted to smoking marijuana that night. He admitted to smoking cigarettes that night,” Semmel said.
He called it “absurd” to suggest that Simms would drive impaired while his wife, eight months pregnant with their second child, was riding along.
“There’s nothing in his record, whatsoever, that suggests that he would be that reckless,” Semmel said.
He suggested two other unidentified passengers in the car’s back seat “might be the sources of the odor” of marijuana that police reported.
If convicted, Simms, whose father Phil Simms was a former New York Giants star, could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He didn’t take prosecutors up on an offer to plead guilty Thursday in exchange for a $500 fine, three days of community service and a six-month license revocation.
The Titans, in a statement, said they were aware of the case and gathering more information about it.
Simms has started just 16 games during his disappointing, six-year NFL career that included stops in Tampa Bay and Denver. Titans backup quarterback Chris Simms was arrested in New York City on charges of driving while on drugs on Thursday.