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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Jameis Winston

Report: Bucs ‘likely’ to stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick when Jameis Winston returns

Ryan Fitzpatrick Conor McGregor

Jameis Winston may have lost a lot more than a significant portion of his salary when the NFL suspended him for three games. If Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to play at a high level, Winston could find himself riding the bench for the foreseeable future.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Fitzpatrick is “very likely” to remain the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback when Winston returns from his suspension. While team officials have not yet met to make an official decision, Fitzpatrick has been arguably the best quarterback in football through the first two games of the season. His performance and that of the team is impossible to ignore.

In two games, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 819 yards, eight touchdowns and one interception. He has a nearly-perfect passer rating of 151.5. The Bucs stunned the New Orleans Saints on the road in Week 1 before beating the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles at home last week.

One source told La Canfora the Bucs plan to take things “week to week” after Winston returns. There’s a chance Fitzpatrick could get just one more start in Week 4 since Tampa will have a short week after facing the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night, but it’s going to be tough to take him off the field if the Buccaneers continue to win.

Winston recently had a lawsuit filed against him from the woman who says she was groped by him in an Uber car back in 2016. He has avoided charges, but the NFL still suspended him three games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

Jameis Winston sued by Uber driver over alleged groping incident

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston is now facing a lawsuit from the woman who says she was groped by the quarterback while driving him for Uber’s service in March 2016.

Winston is currently serving a three-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s conduct policy with his involvement in the matter. Winston has not been criminally charged, but the NFL investigated the matter and found the woman’s account to be consistent and credible.

Apparently upset over Winston’s seemingly flippant dismissal of the matter, the woman hired an attorney to file a lawsuit in hopes of getting him to understand the extent of his wrongdoing.

“She is unimpressed by his continued lack of honesty or awareness into his behavior,” the woman’s attorney, John Clune told the Tampa Bay Times. “Maybe a more direct financial penalty will get his attention. He needs to learn from this and have some genuine insight or pay the penalty.

“She knows that she might be just a speed bump for him in his football career, but she is not going to be a small one.”

The woman is seeking damages for “emotional distress as well as future therapy expenses” and that she is due “exemplary or punitive damages to punish and deter such conduct,” the Tampa Bay Times says.

Winston was at a club with friends in Scottsdale, Ariz. in March 2016 and they called an Uber for him to be driven home. He was said to have been intoxicated at the time. Winston told the driver he wanted a burrito, so she drove him to a Mexican fast food restaurant. She says he leaned over and put his hand/fingers on her genitals while they were in the drive through line. The woman immediately challenged him over his violation, saying, “what’s up with that?” He removed his hand after that. She contacted Uber to report the incident the following day.

Winston originally strongly denied the allegation. He even had a friend back him by saying they were in the Uber together and that nothing happened. However, another friend claims there were two separate Uber rides — one earlier and one later in the night — and that the alleged violation occurred in the later one where Winston was alone with the driver.

Winston was also the subject of very public sexual assault allegations when he was in college at Florida State. He was not criminally charged in that case, but he ended up settling a civil suit and countersuit with the woman out of court.

NFL explains why suspended Jameis Winston was permitted to text teammates

Even though Jameis Winston is suspended, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback is keeping up some informal contact with his teammates.

According to Peter King’s Football Morning in America, Winston shared a message with his receiver group, telling them “Awesome game!” after their 27-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

This raised some eyebrows, as Winston’s suspension is supposed to limit his contact with teammates. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, however, shared that such personal messages are acceptable in the NFL’s eyes as long as they don’t delve into game strategy.

Winston was just checking in. If he’s upset or worried about potentially losing his starting job to Ryan Fitzpatrick even after his suspension concludes, he’s apparently not showing it.

Jameis Winston might not get starting job back immediately

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston might not get his starting quarterback job immediately after serving his suspension.

Winston is serving a three-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been starting in his place and led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory over the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, lighting up the scoreboard in the process. He passed for 417 yards and four touchdowns in the game, easily surpassing all expectations.

Given the great start Fitzpatrick had, the Bucs appear open to taking things week-by-week once Winston returns, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. He notes that the Bucs will be on a short week when they get ready for Week 4 after playing on Monday night in Week 3. Due to the short preparation week, it could make sense to keep Fitzpatrick as the starter, especially since they have a bye in Week 5, which would be a natural time to make a change.

A lot of this depends on how Fitzpatrick looks. If he wins one of his two next starts and doesn’t completely implode, it would make a lot of sense for the Bucs to continue rolling with him.

NFL legend mentoring Jameis Winston after latest conduct violation

Jameis Winston

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is facing a potentially career-defining year, and he’s getting some help from an NFL legend to try and turn things around.

Winston, who will miss the first three games of the 2018 season due to suspension, has enlisted Randy Moss to mentor him.

“He’s doing things right,” Moss told Fox 13, via Florida Football Insiders. “It’s a bump in the road … Man, just continue to fight. It happens … What he did was wrong. You know. I’m not saying right or wrong. There was a woman involved. So, I’m not going to get into all of that. What he did was wrong. He know (sic) it was wrong. So, I think it’s up to him as a man to understand what he did wrong, to live and learn from it and let it go.”

Winston is alleged to have sexually assaulted an Uber driver, and the NFL suspended him for it. The Buccaneers are probably getting very tired of dealing with this, and he needs to turn things around and shape up. Perhaps Moss, who had plenty of off-field issues in his college days, can help.

Jameis Winston reportedly wants more experienced agents to handle contract

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston is dealing with some serious image issues in the wake of his three-game suspension, but that has not stopped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback from thinking about his next contract.

NFLPA records show that Winston recently parted ways with his agents, Greg Genske and Kenny Felder. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes, Winston had been planning to change representation for months, as Genske and Felder are predominantly baseball agents and Winston wants someone with more experience to negotiate his next NFL contract.

Winston has to wait five days before he can hire a new agent, so it’s unclear if he already has new representation lined up. Given his disappointing play in 2017 and the off-field issues he has dealt with, you have to wonder how difficult it will be to negotiate Winston’s next contract.

Winston is under contract through 2019, but there has been some talk about the Bucs potentially parting ways with him. The 24-year-old has faced a ton of criticism and didn’t exactly deny sexually assaulting an Uber driver in his statement of apology, and you have to wonder if he is worth the headaches. At the very least, Winston has probably cost himself a lot of money. That should make him less appealing to agencies.

Jameis Winston apologizes in statement addressing suspension

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston was officially informed on Thursday that he will be suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback responded by issuing a statement of apology.

In a post on Facebook, Winston apologized to the Uber driver who accused him of sexually assaulting her for “the position I put you in.” He also vowed to hold himself to a higher standard going forward.

“First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in,” Winston wrote. “It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize. In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.

“I know I have to hold myself to a higher standard on and off the field and that I have a responsibility to my family, community, and teammates to live above the platform with which God has blessed me. I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season. Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.

“I now look forward to putting this behind me and I will continue to work hard every day to be a positive influence in my community and be the best person, teammate and leader I can be.”

Winston has been accused of inappropriately touching an Uber driver in Arizona back in 2016. The woman went public with the allegations last year, claiming Winston grabbed her crotch without consent in a drive-through line at a fast food restaurant. Ronald Darby, Winston’s former teammate at Florida State, vouched for the QB and said he was also in the car and that nothing happened. However, details that have been pieced together make it seem like Winston took a separate Uber ride that same night without Darby, which is when the alleged incident took place.

Winston was not charged in the incident, but the NFL decided to suspend him anyway after an independent investigation.