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If Winston plays well, the case of the crab legs will be forgotten

Winston Getty Images

Folks tend to overreact in the immediate aftermath of new information, which is why it’s always smart to wait a while before adopting an initial impression as a long-term plan of action.

In the immediate aftermath of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston’s citation for shoplifting crab legs (or are you just happy to see me?), multiple scouts have told Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report that the incident has caused dramatic harm to Winston’s draft stock.

While there’s no reason to doubt Freeman’s claim that the scouts currently are saying these things, there’s also no reason to give the things being said much credence.  Winston still has at least one more year of college football to play before he’s eligible to be drafted.  By 2015 or 2016, his theft of crab legs will be as relevant as Cam Newton’s laptop misadventures were three years ago.

As the scouts who chimed in to Freeman tell it, the sexual assault allegation that possibly fizzled amid a botched investigation doesn’t hurt Winston as much as the crab legs.  They may believe that now, as they prepare to make like Santa’s elves on December 26 and start working on the next class of draft picks.  But there’s a long way to go — and a long time to get there — between now and next year’s draft.

Without condoning what he did or applauding his strategy for saying there’s no excuse but then citing “youthful ignorance” as the official excuse, Winston is a 20-year-old who did a dumb thing.  Anyone reading this was a 20-year-old who did dumb things, is a 20-year-old who does dumb things, or will be a 20-year-old who will do dumb things.  People grow, they develop, and they change; if teams are going to give players who have done far worse things a second chance, teams can’t get too indignant about a 20-year-old kid who applied the five-finger discount to a ten-legged crustacean.

Any scout who refuses to allow his opinion to grow, develop, or change as the weeks and months pass between now and whenever Winston is drafted could end up making a huge mistake on a guy who could be a franchise quarterback at the next level.

Or maybe the explanation is that the draft smokescreens now begin more than a full year in advance.

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114 Responses to “If Winston plays well, the case of the crab legs will be forgotten”
  1. Wineshard says: Apr 30, 2014 10:14 PM

    If you count the claws I guess a crab has ten legs.

  2. thetooloftools says: Apr 30, 2014 10:16 PM

    No.. this is a stupid story. This will stick to him. He needs to own this. J. Football got SLAMMED for being “flashy” after winning his trophy… but he didn’t get arrested.
    Why is this guys crime being marginalized?

  3. justchuckn says: Apr 30, 2014 10:18 PM

    you sir are forgetting the power of the internet memes

  4. moerawn says: Apr 30, 2014 10:18 PM

    When does it stop being a series of incidents and become a trend?

  5. jaxbeachjagfan says: Apr 30, 2014 10:19 PM

    You realize the main reason rape charges weren’t brought against this guy is poor police work, right?

    Throw in his other notorious brushes with law enforcement and this kid has a red flag we can see over here in Duval.

    Winston better grow up, his 3rd strike could cost him millions.

  6. bluenose1965 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:19 PM

    Really? Because people are still rattling on about Manziel acting like a college student. He has no larceny or rape allegations on his resume, yet…………

  7. greenwhodat26 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:19 PM

    …until after the college football season is over and the 2015 NFL Draft “season” begins. Then, that will definitely be something you hear about…everyday..for three months…until the draft.

  8. mcjon22 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:19 PM

    Yeah, Cam Newton stole a laptop and was the first overall pick in the draft when he came out. Does anyone really think a GM is going to give a damn about $30 worth of crab legs?

  9. alonestartexan says: Apr 30, 2014 10:25 PM

    Go Noles!

  10. mauicat1 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:28 PM

    This isn’t something that is going to melt away with time. It will be on the back burner for most teams, but not on a team that next year is looking for a franchise QB. Any smart GM will see that Winston just thinks he is above the law and do as he pleases. What do you think that he will be like when he has a fat multi-million dollar contract? It will take a strong willed owner and head coach to keep this dude under control. I just think that he is not done screwing up. He may be just getting started.

  11. anonymous135 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:34 PM

    Someone from the frat house dared him… :S

  12. PFT's Acclaimed Philosopher says: Apr 30, 2014 10:35 PM

    This is true.

  13. tigersfandan says: Apr 30, 2014 10:35 PM

    Mike Freeman is not a reliable source of information.

  14. qdog112 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:36 PM

    This kid has a lot of growing up to do. He should be using Russell Wilson as a model. Instead he’s following the footsteps of Manziel.

    He’s gonna learn real soon that he can’t get away with what Johnny can. It will be a rude awakening and one that can’t come soon enough. Winston may be the best prospect to come along at QB, recent memory.

    He’s the #1 pick next year. He can blow it very easily.

  15. thereyougo2 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:37 PM

    Please. I’d call this strike two with strike one being totally ignored because of who he is. Everyone now wonders what the third strike will be and will he be called out?

  16. urbusted2 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:38 PM

    Any average Joe on the street who receives a theft offense after the age of 18 is accountable as an adult. This fact impacts the employ-ability of that person well into the future. Why shouldn’t that be the case with an athlete, regardless of his or her ability?

  17. kd75 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:39 PM

    All you can eat crab legs at Red lobster is $15…

  18. titusyoungslegalcounsel says: Apr 30, 2014 10:41 PM

    VY 2.0

  19. FlashPatterson says: Apr 30, 2014 10:43 PM

    I just.. I can’t think of one good reason for a Heisman trophy winner to steal anything. There are countless Florida State alumnus who would kill to buy you those crab legs you big dummy.

  20. mrneto72 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:43 PM

    They have great crab legs in Minnesota and Dallas…..see you in 2015

  21. patbocam says: Apr 30, 2014 10:43 PM

    His future teammates in the nfl will heckle the shiznit out of him. Imagine his nickname will be crab or crabby or snow, something that this dude will never forget or at least in the near future.

  22. sfm073 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:45 PM

    As someone else said “how old do you have to be to know that stealing is wrong?”

  23. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 30, 2014 10:48 PM

    Jameis learned a valuable lesson. If you are sighted taking crab legs from the grocer without paying for them you will be cited for taking crab legs from the grocer without paying for them.

  24. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 30, 2014 10:49 PM

    Jameis was just trying to return the crab legs to their rightful owner. Crustaceans have rights too.

  25. vikesr4reel says: Apr 30, 2014 10:53 PM

    Vikes are the best team in 14!!

  26. mychode says: Apr 30, 2014 10:53 PM

    Aside from the alleged sexual assault and the crab leg incident, something rubs me the wrong way about this guy.

  27. jjrs89 says: Apr 30, 2014 10:56 PM

    With today’s focus on character issues? At the toughest and most important part of the game? I got to disagree

  28. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 30, 2014 11:00 PM

    What the hell does the kid think, that crab legs just regenerate on their own or something?

  29. wrdtoyrmama says: Apr 30, 2014 11:01 PM

    Well its not smart for sure, but c’mon Mike, this has to at least be a pause for concern.

    After all, that sexual assault allegation was serious deal, and to see him pull a stunt like this so soon afterward displays an amazing lack of self-awareness of what is at stake for his future.

    While some kids get the message after a couple bonehead moves, many don’t, and Winston at this stage appears like he doesn’t get it.

  30. mrplow3 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:02 PM

    I’m sorry but the case of the crab legs will never be forgotten. I don’t care how well he plays. Good comedy lasts forever.

  31. mrba4775 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:03 PM

    I have to agree Mike. Once Winston & Florida State step on football field @ AT &T stadium in Arlington,TX. Everything else will be a moot point. I’m quite sure, Winston will learned from all this “Stupid Stuff. Winston has to grow -up fast. We have to remember Winston is only 20yrs. old. It take time for some to mature.

  32. tinbender2000 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:08 PM

    There’s a joke there that needs to stay with him.

  33. arrow43050 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:12 PM

    I have to disagree with the story and with what the headline says:

    “If Winston plays well, the case of the crab legs will be forgotten”

    Come on, it’s CRAB LEGS!! Who is going to forget stealing crab legs? If it was not paying a cabbie or running out on a check at a restaurant, which both would likely be for more money, or some other thing that happens in every day life more often I would agree. I see no way he escapes being called Crab Legs Winston the rest of his career. Not (completely) trying to be funny here. I really think this is gonna stick. Whether it winds up costing him a serious amount of money remains to be seen, but I am pretty sure it’ll be brought up when times come for him to be drafted and it certainly won’t help.

  34. therealbillybuffalo says: Apr 30, 2014 11:14 PM

    Of it will. Winning solves everything, even crimes.

  35. cardsfann1 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:15 PM

    What a buffoon. With that being said, hope my Cards draft him next year. Don’t want a qb in this draft. Not early anyways. If he can keep his pinchers clean from now on, he will be alright…

  36. theworkhorsebackdotcom says: Apr 30, 2014 11:16 PM

    It’s sad that someone genuinely thinks an investigation over crab legs pales in comparison to an alleged sexual assault.

    Yeah in your early 20’s you do some dumb things. Sexual assault isn’t one of those things.

  37. rickditka says: Apr 30, 2014 11:16 PM

    There seems to be a concerted effort to minimize this incident

  38. andreboy1 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:17 PM

    Not a big deal at all.

    But next time swipe a filet or something, man.

    Easier to conceal.

  39. ravens4fr says: Apr 30, 2014 11:20 PM

    This guy WOULD NOT play on my team!! His character SUCKS!

  40. dangerturtle says: Apr 30, 2014 11:20 PM

    Winston may be a “20-year-old young man,” but that’s old enough to know you can’t just walk out of a store without paying for the merchandise you take. And surprising no one, you defend it.

  41. 8oneanddones says: Apr 30, 2014 11:20 PM

    If you are an athlete, talent is the ultimate trump card.

  42. scoops1 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:23 PM

    I expect fans to throw Crab Legs at him when scores kinda like when they throw Skittles at Lynch when scores

  43. bajagopher says: Apr 30, 2014 11:32 PM

    Jamarcus Russell all over again.

  44. bennyb82 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:42 PM

    Jimbo is telling Jameis…”this is actually not a bad thing at all. Take a look at this graph here…the magnitude of your legal troubles are decreasing pretty rapidly…”

  45. jrcoop says: Apr 30, 2014 11:45 PM

    Not by grocery store managers and security. Of course, he can always go with the concussion card defense.

  46. solidarityrules says: Apr 30, 2014 11:46 PM

    Incident won’t be forgotten. Two charges of shoplifting, one confirmed and undisputed, both involving tiny amounts of money, so someone with more than bad judgment — someone with a NEED for risky behavior. Add to that a rape charge, dismissed on the basis that the police never investigated it (that is, we simply don’t know how true/false), and that’s three strikes.

    If he can’t/won’t change behavior following a potentially career-ending rape charge, if he insists on courting disaster again, what are the chances he avoids trouble through years in the NFL? At a minimum he is a serious risk, and that lowers his value.

  47. noladat says: Apr 30, 2014 11:48 PM

    Way too many problems from this kid. Comparing him to scam newton is not gonna help his case any. Scam is a dumb guy with a huge ego you should hope he would be that bad!

  48. phil325 says: Apr 30, 2014 11:55 PM

    Thief, possible rapist – no problem as long as he can win in Florida and the NFL. Nice work if you can get it. Something tells me we haven’t heard the last bad words about this guy.

  49. jerrysglassescleaner says: Apr 30, 2014 11:59 PM

    Lol! That’s gonna stick with him for the rest of his life. Memes are on the way. The NFL officially has a new word in it’s dictionary. Winstoning. #HeWasWinstoning

  50. drgfri says: May 1, 2014 12:00 AM

    I’d be more worried about that rape incident

  51. jtdapit50 says: May 1, 2014 12:02 AM

    …. All i care about is if the kid got to eat crab and have a happy ending

  52. godofwine330 says: May 1, 2014 12:03 AM

    This smacks of a dare. It just does. I mean, all he had to do was walk up to damned near any patron and say, “Hey, I’m Jameis Winston. Yeah, of FSU. I’m a little short. Could you front me?” and somebody would have GLADLY gotten him the crab legs. I hope this one can be chalked up to, “20 year old’s just don’t think,” rather than, “Hey. We finished building the kid, but what do we do with this handful of screws?”

    Florio is right, it will be forgotten soon, but he can’t afford too many more slip ups. He’d better get right and get right soon.

  53. billetproof says: May 1, 2014 12:16 AM

    So, his “other case ” got thrown out because of mistakes of fan based cops, and now he clearly gets it and makes this other youthfull ignorance mistake. US fans are the reason why! and “whenever Winston is drafted could end up making a huge mistake on a guy who could be a franchise quarterback at the next level.” …. at least he didn’t…

  54. uglydingo says: May 1, 2014 1:04 AM

    Somehow I don’t think that Jameis’ crab legs will ever be forgotten.
    Hope that they tasted good because he will live with the consequences of poor judgement and poor character.

  55. upperdecker19 says: May 1, 2014 1:06 AM

    At least he didn’t try to squeeze through the express line with 11 items

  56. ErinAndrewsStopCallingMe says: May 1, 2014 1:06 AM

    Anyone who drafted this kid would be doing a “dumb thing.” Funny, wasn’t he all about praising God after the championship win? Way to be a hypocrite their Mr. Red Flag.

  57. frotoon2 says: May 1, 2014 1:55 AM

    What other exoskeletons does he have in his closet??

  58. therealraider says: May 1, 2014 2:18 AM

    When the Reigning Heisman Trophy winner feels he needs to steal food, You know The NCAA is a little late allowing unfettered access to the cafeteria for athletes .. Now they just need to add crab to the menu.

  59. kingpel says: May 1, 2014 2:46 AM

    I am imagining that is exactly what the judge in Tallahassee told him.

  60. troyrisby says: May 1, 2014 4:21 AM

    If they would feed this dang boy…he wouldn’t have to go around stealing food all the dog on time. Here Winston is one of the most popular athletes in America right now and these scholarships don’t even pay enough for him to get a decent meal.

  61. iamdinguskhan says: May 1, 2014 4:22 AM

    The next Ryan Leaf

  62. war71 says: May 1, 2014 5:38 AM

    No way. You don’t say.

  63. wryly1 says: May 1, 2014 5:39 AM

    20 year olds grow out of doing dumb things when they learn the hard way there are consequences for doing dumb things. What Winston is being taught by the university, the football coach and the local prosecutor – is there are no consequences for doing dumb things.

  64. fjd10 says: May 1, 2014 5:43 AM

    Your headline shows the problem. As long as you can play nothing else really matters. Sad!!

  65. punkyqb says: May 1, 2014 5:48 AM

    McDonalds down the road.

  66. campcouch says: May 1, 2014 6:11 AM

    At least it was something useful hahahaha. Life would be dull without athletes.

  67. eagleaniac says: May 1, 2014 6:12 AM

    I can’t believe that the crab legs incident is viewed with less concern than the rape allegation. From all I’ve read the investigation was botched to the point where you had to wonder if someone had an ulterior motive.

  68. bospat says: May 1, 2014 6:17 AM

    God has a sense of humor…this guy is going to be trouble…time will tell…

  69. lawyermalloy says: May 1, 2014 6:35 AM

    This kid should declare for the draft as early as he can as he’s destined to get arrested a few more times while at Florida State.

  70. jackdaniels1 says: May 1, 2014 6:41 AM

    He played well in the title game too and that rape accusation has been forgotten too. The man can throw a tight spiral which is the equivalent of walking on water down in Tallahassee! And sadly every other city in the world when it comes to sports

  71. corvetteman6 says: May 1, 2014 6:41 AM

    Isn’t it a shame that this is what the country has come down to–ability on a sporting field allows you to live by your own rules. You can only hope karma finds this guy at some point.

  72. seanb20124 says: May 1, 2014 7:17 AM

    How will he react when he has millions of dollars and someone disses him in a club?

  73. boyshole25 says: May 1, 2014 7:25 AM

    Most of us had better parenting to know that regardless of what it is, never take something that doesn’t belong to you. Period

  74. zoxitic says: May 1, 2014 7:27 AM

    I hate shellfish players.

  75. petecarrolmorelikecheatpayroll says: May 1, 2014 7:47 AM

    Winston is going to be crabby when he hears this. His accusers have no legs to stand on, according to Winston. In any regard, eventually this story will melt away like drawn butter.

  76. pftfannum1 says: May 1, 2014 7:55 AM

    I usually agreed with what Florio said but not on this one. Sure, every body deserves a second chance and Winston is no difference. But what matters here is his behaviors. His attitude of a young invincible athlete will bring him more troubles that his talents will not be enough to help him.

  77. harryglyphics says: May 1, 2014 8:03 AM

    Don’t worry–he’ll figure out some way to muck it up in the future.

  78. hodag54501 says: May 1, 2014 8:03 AM

    Or is it a case of an “entitled” athlete, to whom few people say ‘no’? THAT would be something you would look at if you were a team. How many athletes go through college without a blemish? Many. When the blemishes keep popping up,(this is not a Clearasil ad) you have a person with the idea that rules apply to other people. Take a long look at some of the young Hollywood types as examples.

  79. olcap says: May 1, 2014 8:07 AM

    Thumbs down.

  80. wadrules1 says: May 1, 2014 8:25 AM

    The headline says it all. Sad state of affairs.

  81. fordman84 says: May 1, 2014 8:39 AM

    Good thing he didn’t get kicked out of a frat party or sent home from a football camp or people wouldn’t be so forgiving!

  82. miamiuhurricances says: May 1, 2014 8:43 AM

    He’d be suspended for a whole season if a booster would have bought the crab legs for him.

  83. yazastudios says: May 1, 2014 8:48 AM

    That was pretty Shellfish of Jameis Winston if you ask me.

  84. hodous says: May 1, 2014 8:48 AM

    Better call Saul…

  85. walkinginthewasteland says: May 1, 2014 9:05 AM

    Except it isnt about 20 year old who did a dumb thing. That statement is transparent white-washing of his behavior. It is now a second incident where the kid does dumb things. There is now reason to suspect there are, or will be, other incidents. It starts to become a pattern to look for, not an isolated data point.

  86. iangas33 says: May 1, 2014 9:05 AM

    Haha I really don’t, not should anyone else, that this was truly detrimental for Winston. Just funny as all hell. RIP free shoes university. Welcome the new and improved “Free Seafood University”

  87. shogunassasin30 says: May 1, 2014 9:08 AM

    He tried to steal crab legs from a grocery store BRO. C’mon who does that. It’s hilarious and stupid. He deserves ALL of the intense mocking he gets..

  88. penvik says: May 1, 2014 9:16 AM

    No, this will NEVER be forgotten. Not from us outside the USA anyhow. He’s a loser from now till the end if time. Nobody I know would pull this crap and we aren’t on our way to millions in the NFL. If the NFL was smart they would suspend him for his rookie year.

  89. mancave001 says: May 1, 2014 9:21 AM

    I think it’s pretty clear from the statement that he was guilty as sin. This is intentional shoplifting, plain and simple. “Youthful ignorance?” You don’t know at 20 that shoplifting is wrong? He should have just tried to claim he forgot to pay.

  90. tmac4454 says: May 1, 2014 9:27 AM

    I know he needs to get his act together. You can only be saved a couple of times, then people will leave you out there alone. My man needs a mentor and a big brother to watch over him before he ruin his future.

  91. 4thandlonger says: May 1, 2014 9:31 AM

    It’s good to laugh at him but it really shouldn’t change his draft stock.

    But the sexual assault incident should. Regardless of the real truth I’ve read enough to see that Winston at least for one night had a bad attitude to women. And that’s a legitimate character flaw and one that should be investigated for any team thinking of making this guy the face of their franchise.

  92. swortybounce says: May 1, 2014 9:40 AM

    Potato or Patato; stolen crab legs or stolen laptop

  93. uglydingo says: May 1, 2014 9:51 AM

    Does anyone know where he physically put the crab legs? $32 is a lot of crab legs – you can’t just put them in a pocket. Did he stuff them under his shirt or in his pants? Yuck. It does seem premeditated theft.

  94. ncheelsboysfan says: May 1, 2014 9:59 AM

    Amazingly stupid…

  95. beachsidejames says: May 1, 2014 10:03 AM

    Of course he gets a pass..he’s a potential star player not some old man that owns a basketball team.

  96. mcmccii says: May 1, 2014 10:24 AM

    This guy has Cecil Collins/ Maurice Clarette written all over him.

  97. bigtimebrownie says: May 1, 2014 10:31 AM

    I didn’t think I was a genius when I was 20 – I don’t think I am now…but I knew and know that stealing is wrong. Apparently I’m a genius.

  98. whysomanylosers says: May 1, 2014 10:33 AM

    Gator football fan has something to be happy about… finally.

  99. bucksnknucks says: May 1, 2014 10:49 AM

    They easily buried the sexual assault case against him, this should be easy.

  100. djaehne says: May 1, 2014 11:50 AM

    Manziel says the media never forgets to report
    on player activities.

  101. thegreatgabbert says: May 1, 2014 11:53 AM

    Jameis got confused, the “All You Can Steal Crab Leg Special” was next week.

  102. rcali says: May 1, 2014 12:03 PM

    I would have loved crag legs when I was in college. I was just broke and knew stealing them wasn’t the answer. You are going to give the keys to your franchise to this guy? Good luck!

  103. thegreatgabbert says: May 1, 2014 12:09 PM

    Jameis got himself into a little boiling water with this incident.

  104. thegreatgabbert says: May 1, 2014 12:12 PM

    Just something to go with the steaks he stole from the butcher.

  105. kinggator says: May 1, 2014 12:12 PM

    Dude is into free crabs!

  106. buddysguys says: May 1, 2014 12:29 PM

    thats if he makes to the Draft odds currently are in favor of him being arrested again.

  107. robertocfg says: May 1, 2014 12:29 PM

    There’s the rape allegations as well. Maybe he’ll get his act together. But what if he doesn’t? It’ll be another case of “yeah, the kid can throw, but maybe, just maybe, we should have seen all those red flags…”

  108. napavalleyshaun says: May 1, 2014 12:30 PM

    He was looking for a Boston Market but had to, alas, settle for the crab legs.

  109. kingpel says: May 1, 2014 12:32 PM

    This guy may have a mental handicap. If the rape scandal wasn’t severe enough to make him more self aware of his behavior, I dont believe anything will.

  110. thegreatgabbert says: May 1, 2014 12:38 PM

    The proprietor’s suspicion was aroused when he observed Jameis scuttling sideways out of the store.

  111. psly2124 says: May 1, 2014 2:12 PM

    I’m sick of hearing what a great qb this kid is. He is overrated. He two very talented wr’s and a very good te. He played against very weak competetion. When he stepped up and played a good team in auburn he looked like crap. I don’t want to hear how he drove his team on the least drive either. He didn’t throw a pass over 5 yards down field. All bubble screens where the receivers made great plays. This kid is a bum and is in for a ride awakening this season.

  112. robuff716 says: May 1, 2014 2:15 PM

    The real issue is Crab legs aren’t that good….id rather have Lobster!

  113. taron2in1 says: May 1, 2014 5:15 PM

    Can’t believe they let this get out about a guy that makes them millions. He should transfer now!!!!

  114. johnnycantread says: May 3, 2014 8:43 AM

    It won’t be forgotten.
    Every opposing team’s fans won’t let him forget.
    He will be heckled on the road for his whole career.

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