Jameis Winston’s off-field behavior may really end up damaging the Buccaneers. There are strong rumors he will begin the season with a suspension.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made the decision to draft Jameis Winston they knew he had some off the field issues. Unfortunately for the team, it seems those issues may cost him multiple games to begin the 2018 season.
ESPN Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron is reporting that Winston’s camp is “prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension of some kind” against the former Florida State quarterback. Interestingly enough, the suspension may not come as a result of whatever happened between he and his Uber driver in March of 2016. Instead, the NFL may levy the sanction against Winston for his failure to report the incident in a timely fashion.
The only good news for Buccaneers fans here is that Cameron also believes the suspension will likely just be for one game. It will be a challenge for Tampa Bay to win without him under center, but it’s possible they can survive his absence for one game.
Winston, of course, will also have the option to appeal any suspension he receives from the league. Unfortunately, players challenging the league’s rulings in the past have rarely been effective. The NFL’s power under the current collective bargaining agreement gives Roger Goodell a lot of power to discipline individual players.
If Winston does miss a game, look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to start in his absence. He isn’t nearly the dynamic player that Winston is, but he does give Dirk Koetter an experienced option under center. The game plan would certainly need to be adjusted, but Fitzpatrick’s ability to run the ball might help put an opposing defense off-balance.
Expect a formal ruling to come down about Winston’s Uber incident, sooner, rather than later. It’s in everyone’s best interest to get this matter resolved well before the start of the regular season. Buccaneers fans shouldn’t have to wait too long to learn their quarterback’s fate.