Jameis Winston should fear a suspension

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Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston says he has no fear of a suspension under the Personal Conduct Policy. He should.

And that’s not because of any specific information we have developed regarding the allegation of groping made against him by an Uber driver. It’s because the league has shown that, under the NFL’s new approach to players who haven’t been arrested or charged, the NFL can do whatever it wants.

The Ezekiel Elliott case and now-abandoned litigation underscore the basic reality that, in matters of discipline arising from off-field misconduct, the NFL has more power than ever before. If the league believes the accuser (even if the league doesn’t fully believe the accuser), punishment can be imposed.

So, yes, even if Winston is convinced he’s innocent, he should be concerned. Whether he’s actually innocent ultimately doesn’t matter, especially since the NFL’s procedures make it difficult if not impossible for the player who faces accusations to properly defend himself.

For mor, here’s Thursday’s PFT PM podcast, which addresses this topic and several others, along with answering some of your questions.

14 responses to “Jameis Winston should fear a suspension

  1. This kind of situation is exactly why the Steelers were the one team with the cojones to vote against the last collective bargaining agreement. They believed it gave the NFL and Goodell too much power – and they were right.

  2. This could set up situation where a group of people make unfounded accusations against one team’s players to affect game outcomes. 3-4 top players on one team are accused. Now the NFL can suspend them and BINGO, all bets are off! There is a problem with guilty until proven innocent. Yes, I am a conspiracy theorist. Seriously, this is pretty unjust.

  3. As of right now the Winston drama is completely different from Brady/Elliot. In those cases the NFL had evidence they could see that led them to believe an act was committed. I’m not saying they were right, just that they had what they believed to be credible evidence. Text messages/destroyed phone/several low psi readings and doctor analysis of bruises consistent with victim statement along with a history and video evidence of of similar behavior. Again, I am not saying the ‘evidence’ in those cases was credible, only that the NFL believed or at least said they believed it. Yes, Winston has a history of allegations but all they have right now is a driver, who didn’t file a complaint with the police, who claims they were alone. Winston says it didn’t happen and has a guy who says he was in the car too. His jeopardy hinges on that aspect. If they can prove the other guy was or was not there, his decision will go that way. Absent either, I don’t see anything more than some sort of warning.

  4. Tampa Bay has a cancer in that guy.
    Get rid of him and the crappy head coach.
    Look up and see the crappy draft picks wonder boy Gruden picked.
    He is not the right candidate.
    Just a big mouth, that took Tony Dungy’s team to the Super Bowl

  5. It’s not just the NFL. Most, if not all, companies can suspend employees for doing stupid things. It doesn’t have to be against the law to be stupid and inappropriate. Evidence is definitely key though. He certainly hasn’t garned himself the benefit of the doubt.

  6. This could set up situation where a group of people make unfounded accusations against one team’s players to affect game outcomes.

    Which is why they take the time to investigate. Duh.

  7. Why should he, he’s never faced any kind of blowback for the stupid things he’s done? He was as arrogant to get dressed and start warming up after he told he was inactive for a game thinking the coach would just look the other way and let him play. When people have to come to your defense to vouch for your intelligence that’s a big red flag. Not saying he’s stupid but his thought process is totally warped.

  8. He’s done this to women before….and stolen seafood from Publix….why does everyone keep PRAISING this guy?? He thinks he’s entitled, and it’s one of MANY reasons why we are not watching football anymore.

  9. He’s done this to women before….and stolen seafood from Publix….why does everyone keep PRAISING this guy??

    Because the sport needs heroes…preferably in contention against each other. They made money for years off Manning vs Brady. They would have loved to do that with Flacco vs Ryan or Luck vs RG3 or Mariota vs Winston. They’ll settle for Prescott vs Wentz if they can.

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