Jameis Winston. Brother. It’s time that you and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership have a serious intervention with you.
With the former Florida State Seminole quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and top overall pick facing a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the Buccaneers have a potentially tough decision to make.
Per Mike Jones’ recent column on Winston on USA Today here highlighting his many off-the-field incidents at both Florida State and Tampa Bay.
• In November 2012, while playing around with B.B. guns on two different occasions, Winston caused $4,200 in damages to a Tallahassee, Fla., complex.
• The following month, a fellow Florida State student, Erica Kinsman, accused Winston of sexual assault. Winston, a freshman at the time, called it consensual and a year later, the State Attorney’s office opted against charging Winston, citing “problematic” testimony by his accuser.
• In July 2013, Winston was accused of stealing soda from a Tallahassee Burger King. The manager decided not to press charges.
• In April 2014, Winston was suspended from Florida State’s baseball team after shoplifting crab legs from a Publix.
• In September of the same year, Winston served a one-game suspension for jumping on a table and yelling vulgar remarks on campus.
• In April 2015 — the same month that the Bucs drafted Winston first overall — Kinsman filed a civil suit against Winston for the 2012 incident. They reached a settlement in December of 2016.
• In March 2016, came the incident for which Winston is facing the suspension: Allegations that he grabbed the crotch of the Uber driver in the drive-through of a restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz.
• In February 2017, while talking to elementary school students in St. Petersburg, Winston drew criticism for saying boys can do anything and should be strong, but ladies are “supposed to be silent, polite, gentle.”
• In November 2017, Winston instigated a brawl between Bucs and Saints players after he came onto the field to taunt an opponent.
Eligible to return Week 4, Winston is likely to become more a distraction, and thanks to the current #MeToo cultural revolution that we are now living in, along with the NFL having the largest female fan base of all the major North American sports, these are variables that Bucs ownership is seriously looking at.
Do they risk alienating a good portion of their female fans over their troubled and immature face of their franchise.
Currently in the final year of his rookie contract worth $25 million over four years and Tampa Bay choosing to exercise his fifth year, the Buccaneers find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
Depending how Tampa starts out of the gate with their first three games on the road vs. New Orleans, hosting the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and a visit to AFC Super Bowl contender, Pittsburgh and how much Winston’s latest off the field incident is a distraction, then the Buccaneers May part ways with the former Florida State standout entirely.
Sadly, for all of the physical tools and talent that he possesses, Winston may not be worth the headache.