Jameis Winston just doesn’t get it.
Winston, Florida State’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, doesn’t get how a leader is supposed to act, or for that matter how a decent human being is supposed to act. He certainly doesn’t get how NFL teams — all of them shaken over the last two weeks by the increased scrutiny on players’ off-field misconduct — want their quarterbacks to conduct themselves.
Florida State announced late last night that Winston will not play at all in today’s game against Clemson. He had initially been suspended for the first half of the game for screaming an obscene phrase in the student union; the suspension for the second half reportedly comes because Florida State discovered that Winston lied to school authorities about some of the circumstances surrounding that incident.
Winston, of course, has had many prior off-field incidents that will make NFL teams question whether his immense talent is worth the headaches. By far the most serious is the accusation from a female Florida State student that he raped her. Winston was not charged, and the Tallahassee Police Department botched that investigation so thoroughly that we’ll never know what really happened.
Winston’s other incidents were far less serious than a sexual assault, but the sum total of them is to question whether he cares at all about the potential consequences of his actions: He was arrested for shoplifting crab legs. He was involved in a BB gun battle that damaged his apartment complex, and hours later Florida State police stopped him and handcuffed him for carrying a pellet gun near campus (he said he was using it to shoot at squirrels). Before last season’s national championship game, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher kicked Winston out of practice and explained later that he wanted Winston to understand that “it’s not about you.”
Add all these things up, and it’s easy to see why NFL teams would decide that they simply don’t want to deal with Winston, no matter how good a quarterback he is. Winston appears to be a player with great talent who lacks the maturity to be a franchise quarterback. Kind of like Ryan Leaf.