For anyone with a pulse, Jameis Winston invokes some response. The Tampa Bay quarterback made these comments last week, regarding his three-game suspension. FPC Managing Editors Rolfe and Biggs discussed the matter.
Ben Rolfe (Falcons Managing Editor)
At this point, it does not feel like anything Jameis Winston might do would surprise me, be that on or off the field. Off the field, his controversies range from incidents involving pellet guns, shoplifting, alleged rape, and an alleged sexual assault. Entering 2018, the league suspended Winston three games because of the sexual assault allegation. The issue is at what point does this all become too much for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to take any more?
Whether pertinent or not, the Buccaneers decision feels even tougher by Jameis’ hit or miss performances on the field. In three seasons, Winston has 11,636 passing yards, 69 touchdowns, and 44 interceptions. Last season his touchdown percentage was 4.5, ranking him 19th among qualified QBs. However, the real concern was his interception percentage of 2.5, which placed him joint 10th worst among QBs who qualified.
In terms of his contract, the Buccaneers are in an interesting position. They rightly took up the 5thyear option on Winston’s rookie deal. However, unless Winston is injured this season, none of that money is guaranteed. As a result,the Buccaneers could cut him at the end of the season and look to go in a different direction. That remains a risky move, but in the balance of business versus personal Winston is treading a delicate line.
My personal feeling about what the Buccaneers should do: let Jameis play this season and the make the decision then. However, if Winston does not take a massive step forward this season, then the constant question marks of when he may do something really stupid are not worth the mediocre on field performances we have seen so far in his career.
Terrance Biggs (Raiders Managing Editor)
While Ben’s answer is layered and well articulated, mine is shorter and direct. Jameis Winston is a headache, which does not deserve another chance in Tampa for a few reasons. First, this incident with the Uber driver is not the first time Jameis found himself in deep trouble with women. During his career at Florida State, a woman accused Winston of raping her. If not for legal wrangling and a settlement, Winston would be in prison.
For the entirety of his Florida State career into his pro tenure, Jameis never escaped trouble. Granted, he possesses the physical tools to lead a team. However, how many chances can someone with a serious issue with boundaries and women enjoy? People see the smile, fooled by the charm and charisma. Yet, any unbiased individual sees Jameis for what he is, which is someone that escapes punishment. Tampa needs to rid itself of Winston at the quickest opportunity. Money does not enhance character, it reveals it. How can Jameis, now wealthy, still not choose to avoid trouble? Simple, he does not care.