Ex-Titans backup QB Chris Simms due in NYC court for hearing in drugged-driving case

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ex-Titans backup QB Chris Simms due in NYC court

NEW YORK — Free-agent quarterback Chris Simms caught a pass on his last court date, but his timeout is over.

The former Tennessee Titans backup quarterback was due in court Thursday for a hearing and possible trial in his drugged-driving case. Simms, his agents and his lawyers didn’t immediately respond to messages this week.

Simms, a son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, was stopped at a Manhattan police checkpoint on July 1. According to court documents filed by prosecutors, Chris Simms slurred his words as he told police he’d smoked marijuana in the car.

He told The Tennessean newspaper in August he “definitely didn’t say” that. One of his lawyers has said Simms was talking only about smoking cigarettes.

His lawyers also say police had no justification for stopping or arresting him, an argument at the crux of Thursday’s hearing. Prosecutors say the arrest was lawful.

Simms, 29, faces misdemeanor and traffic violation charges of driving while impaired by drugs. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Simms has started 16 games during his NFL career, with a 7-9 record. A third-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003, he ruptured his spleen in a 2006 game against the Carolina Panthers and had to undergo emergency surgery.

After Tampa Bay released him, he went to Tennessee in 2008, played for the Denver Broncos last year as an unrestricted free agent and returned to the Titans this year.

A judge excused him from a court date in August, amid Titans training camp. The team released him last month.

Simms’ father played 14 seasons with the Giants, leading them to two Super Bowls. He is now an announcer and analyst for CBS Sports.

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