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Simmons: I Was A Scapegoat

Convinced he was the scapegoat for Kansas City's troubles, Wayne Simmons is just happy to have a job.

Simmons was signed by the Buffalo Bills Thursday after being released by the Chiefs earlier in the week.

Kansas City coach Marty Schottenheimer said Simmons was released because his play had declined and not specifically due to Monday night's personal foul incident Denver's Bubby Brister that earned the linebacker a $7,500 fine.

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  • "I think my past had a significant part in using me as a scapegoat," Simmons said. "My play speaks for itself and I know I'm not perfect, but I know I wasn't the only one who held the team back. I just got blamed for it. I'm just glad to be working."

    The 28-year-old's character has come into question recently after the release of a book called "Pros and Cons: The Criminals Who Play in the NFL." Twelve pages in the book are devoted to Simmons.

    In January, a county grand jury in Savannah, Ga., decided there was not enough evidence for criminal charges against Simmons, accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old Hilton Head Island, S.C., woman in the spring of 1997.

    The book also details several arrests and assault and battery charges while he was attending Clemson University.

    "There's been some accusations out there and I know they are false," Simmons said. "Some things that happened at school have been blown out of proportion. I'm not perfect, but I wouldn't cause anybody any harm."

    Simmons was also convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in May of 1997.

    "I heard something about the book," Simmons said. "Does it kill me? It (the sexual assault) wasn't even proven. I wasn't arrested for anything. It was all accusations."

    Simmons played the first four seasons of his career with Green Bay before being dealt to the Chiefs last year. He started all 16 games on the 1996 Pacers Super Bowl team.

    "Wayne's a hell of a guy and what I hear about him shocks me because you never see it in him," said Bills linebacker Joe Cummings, who spent training camp with the Packers in 1996 before being waived.

    "With some guys, you might be able to believe it," Cummings said. "But not with Wayne. He's a real good guy and was a star with Green Bay. Everybody loved him."

    Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said Simmons had no problems in dealing with the media or the public during his year with Kansas City.

    "I don't know that he has any more problems than anyone else," said Bills coach Wade Phillips. "It's almost like he's the one to blame for what's going on in Kansas City and I don't think that's the case at all."

    Simmons is in the second year of a three-year, $3 million contract and is expected to see his first action with the Bills Sunday against Indianapolis.

    "The decision regarding Wayne was performance-driven," Schottenheimer said. "There were a number of other factors, but it was clear that he was not playing at the level he exhibited last season. This was not a snap decision."

    © 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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