Jameis Winston has been suspended three games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The NFL has suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the season for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. This stems from an incident where he allegedly groped an Uber driver.
The official suspension could be handed down as early as Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This has been looming over Winston and the Bucs like a black cloud since the incident took place in March 2016.
Schefter said on SportsCenter that the more the NFL looked into this with their investigation, the more Winston realized he did some things wrong. He also said he doesn’t know if he’ll appeal. Schefter said a three-game suspension would cost him $124,000, but if the appeal lingers into next season, it would cost him much more money when he’s scheduled to make $21 million on his deal.
A final decision regarding an appeal is to be determined, but Schefter seemed confident in the fact that Winston will accept his punishment and not appeal.
Winston will miss the season opener at New Orleans, and home contests against the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He would be eligible to return Sept. 30 for the road game against the Chicago Bears. The Bucs could very well be 0-3 when he returns considering those three teams went a combines 37-11 last year.
With Winston out for the first three games, the Bucs will turn to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to start in his absence.
This is disappointing news to hear if you’re a Bucs fan who has been waiting for Winston to put it all together and develop into the franchise quarterback the franchise envisioned when they took the former Heisman and national champion at Florida State with the No. 1 pick.
He’s shown flashes of putting it all together in his short career but this is a significant step back and he’ll have to regain the trust of his fans, and potentially, some of his teammates and coaches when he returns to the starting lineup in Week 4.