Another NFL offseason, another sequence of scandals with the NFL jury handing out game bans. This off season numerous (I am counting 14 but don’t hold that number against me) for players taking performance enhancing drugs or PEDS. Some of the bigger names with the standard 4 game ban include Julian Edelman and Mark Ingram. Reuben Foster got hit with a 2 game ban this month for his run ins (2 to be exact) with the law earlier this year. However, the most interesting ban handed out this off season was a 3 game ban to Jameis Winston.
Basically, Jameis allegedly groped a female Uber driver in March 2016 and shouted homophobic slures out of the car window at pedestrians. Jameis denied this ever happened initially but as the details began to come out, his story and others weren’t matching up. Interesting, in his speech he does apologies for his actions and comments how he has matured since the event took place (over 2 year ago). Yet it was only 6 months ago when he denied it all happened. With previous law suits against Winston (back in FSU he was involved in a sexual assault allegation and shoplift incidents), the questions are beginning to mount on what should the Buccaneers do with their number 1 quarterback.
Winston was selected number 1 by the Buccaneers in the 2015 draft. In his three years at Tempa Bay, he has played 45 games. His stats are below:
Years Games Completed passes Attempted passes Passing yards TDs Interceptions Sacks Rushing yards Rushing TDs Fumbles Fumbles lost
2015 16 312 535 4042 22 15 27 213 6 6 2
2016 16 345 567 4090 28 18 35 165 1 10 6
2017 13 282 442 3504 19 11 33 135 1 15 7
Looking at these stats, its a split jury on his NFL career thus far. Two 4000+ passing yards season but he has thrown a lot of interceptions. Sacks average over the three years is 31.67 which would be considered high and can indicate that his offensive line isn’t the strongest, a mid-table performing line at best in reality. Others might argue that the Bucc’s lack of a successful running game didn’t help either but anyone who has seen Winston playing will note that he is still learning when to throw the ball and when not to. The franchise brought in Desean Jackson to give Winston that deep threat option but really the two never clicked and Winston still relied on his umber one receiver in Mike Evans. The other major concern is his high fumble numbers which have been increasing through the three years.
So looking ahead, what is the future for Winston? We know he will sit out the first three games of the NFL 2018 season anyway and more than likely retake the starting role in week 4 unless Ryan Fitzpatrick has laid down a case for him starting (fingers crossed). His contract with the Buccaneers is until 2020 after they exercised his fifth year in April of this year. In my opinion, I believe the Buccaneers will sign Winston again despite these off field problems. In their eyes, he is their quarterback for years to come and have really stood by him thus far. Should they do this? From a football view point, it is the smart option. They now have a quarterback to build around and it is what they have been doing. And there is genuine believe that he can eliminate these excessive turn overs and errors and be a top tier quarterback. He is also reported to have stopped drinking and has recently had his first child with his fiancé. On the other hand, this isn’t the first time he has been involved in cases like this. And he lied to the franchise that hires him and the NFL once this initial came out. If something of this nature comes out again, it is highly unlikely a deal could be struck with the NFL and he will likely miss more matches. Put it this way, I wouldn’t be sign my future franchise quarterback to a long term deal if I feared that he could damage the franchises reputation and ultimately leave the league due to circumstance that had arose due to the player’s personal off field choices. And with Winston, I feel it is only a matter of time before something new hits the media.