Jameis Winston is one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL, thus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers missing him for any great length of time would be problematic. So, to hear the team's franchise QB say he expects to be suspended up to three games stemming from an alleged incident in March of 2016 means not good news for the Bucs.
The 2018 NFL season will open for Winston's Buccaneers against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 9, 2018, and according to a report by ESPN Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron (h/t JoeBucsFan.com), Winston is bracing for the worst with others suggesting his suspension could be greater.
Cameron thinks that Winston will get slapped for failing to report the incident back in 2016. He explained:
"What he'll be suspended over is a failure to report. ...This is what I do know: The Winston camp is prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension of some kind. The thought from the Winston camp is that would be a maximum of three games. I do not know at this time whether or not they plan to appeal, and I do not know that three games is an accurate number. I've been told that would seem to be the maximum number of games that the suspension could be. It's also likely that it's less than that and it's one game."
The incident in question is Winston having apparently grabbed a female Uber driver while sitting in line at a drive-thru. Winston was in the passenger seat and the driver says she was "frozen." She wasn't prepared for an NFL quarterback to take advantage of a little 5'6 driver and she had no idea how to react. Winston immediately denied the accusations when the story surfaced.
But, others believe it's not the failure to report the incident, but the violation of the league's personal conduct policy that will hurt Winston. Immediately following the release of the BuzzFeed article in November 2017, the NFL launched an investigation into the situation and after eight months, it looks like they are ready to make their ruling. People are asking, why would the NFL need that much time over failing to report an Uber account was suspended? That kind of logic is raising questions.
Again folks, the idea that the NFL would suspend Jameis Winston for multiple games after 8 months of an investigation for not reporting that his Uber account was cancelled is ridiculous and untrue. It's pure spin. Don't buy it.— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) June 21, 2018
Either way, if Winston is suspended for as little as one game or as many as six, it's not a good look for the NFL, and it's definitely not helpful for the Buccaneers who could use him on the field.