NFL Holding Winston's Feet To Fire

The NFL is making an example out of Jameis Winston, just as it did with Ezekiel Elliott and Tom Brady

Ferrall On The Bench
June 25, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston’s immense talents as an NFL quarterback have rarely been questioned since being taken as the No. 1 overall pick in 2015, but his suspicious off-the-field behavior continues to hamper his long-term potential.

At Florida State, Winston became one of few players in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy and a national championship in a single season. In that same year, however, Winston was accused of sexual assault and was cited for shoplifting. 

Winston is entering his fourth year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it appears his troubled past has come back to haunt him. He will reportedly be suspended three games for allegedly groping a female Uber driver while intoxicated in March 2016.

“I think when you look back at the way the NFL has handled things, you can always suspect that there was probably a suspension of some kind going down,” Fan Rag Sports and WFLA TV Buccaneers insider Roy Cummings said on Farrall on the Bench. 

According to Cummings, Winston has been on the NFL’s radar ever since his antics at Florida State, with the league keeping a close eye on him should a similar scenario arise.

“It seems to me that what we have here is the NFL wasn’t able to do anything with Jameis Winston as a result of all the things that went down at Florida State,” Cummings said. “But they kept that in their back pocket and said, ‘You know, if we ever run into some kind of problem here, we’re really going to throw the book at you.’ I think that’s what they’re doing.”

Similar to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Cummings believes that the NFL is going to make an example out of Winston.

“Obviously, they’re going to hold Jameis Winston’s feet to the fire on this one, and make him another example of how the NFL hands out discipline — much like Ezekiel Elliot and Tom Brady,” Cummings said. “He’s not the first guy who has had to go through this, but it's a tough one for him and the Buccaneers.”

This puts Tampa Bay in a difficult situation. Although Cummings does not condone the alleged action that took place over two years ago, he believes that Winston has matured both as a football player and as a human being within that time period.

“This was two-and-a-half years ago,” Cummings said. “Jameis Winston was just a year out of college at the time. That is not an excuse, but it is my belief is that he has matured immensely as a player and as a person in those two-and-a-half years. Maybe this was one of the reasons that he has matured, but clearly he made a mistake with this situation in some form or fashion, and it looks like he’s going to pay a heavy price for it.

“What we see firsthand does not measure up to what we’re hearing about in this incident,” Cummings continued, “and it just makes you wonder if there’s a different Jameis Winston out there in the private sector that we just don’t see. That’s really the question.”