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Jessica Simpson's new boyfriend: ex-NFL player Eric Johnson [updated]

July 6, 2010 |  1:23 pm

Jessica Simpson and her 30th birthday cake Thanks to Jessica Simpson, former NFL tight end Eric Johnson is a free agent no more -- at least when it comes to dating.

The two have been seeing each other since May, People reports, after being introduced by friends. He's separated from his wife, who filed for divorce earlier this year. Johnson played for the San Francisco 49ers and more recently for the New Orleans Saints; they released him in July 2008, ahead of their run for the most recent NFL championship.

Simpson's most recent high-profile relationship was with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who dumped her right before her 29th birthday. Simpson turns 30 on Saturday.

[For the record, 5 p.m. July 9: An earlier version of this post said Simpson turned 30 on Saturday. Her 30th birthday falls on Saturday, July 10.]

Johnson's apparently "one of the nicest guys around," a former NFL co-worker tells People. And smart too. Went to Yale and all that.

Jessica, we'd like to remind you, did not go to Yale

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Jessica Simpson poses with a surprise birthday cake at a casino club opening in West Virginia on July 2, 2010. Hope that puppy's vegan, as Jessica's recently been shedding pounds the new-fashioned way, through a vegan diet and "cupping," to remove toxins.  Credit: Bryan Bedder / Getty Images