On Thursday, a lawsuit alleging sexual assault was filed against quarterback Jameis Winston. The contention was widely known for months, and a lawsuit always was considered to be a possibility.
So the Buccaneers weren’t surprised, and they apparently are undeterred. According to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, Buccaneers officials say that the lawsuit will have no impact on their draft plans.
Technically, this doesn’t mean the Bucs will be drafting Winston. It just means the lawsuit doesn’t change their plans. Whatever those plans may be.
Implicit in the information from Cummings is the notion that no portion of the lawsuit will change their plans, including the contention at paragraph 13 that “a second woman had come forward and reported being sexually assaulted by Winston.” Which implies that the Buccaneers knew about the second allegation, and that they properly studied it in reach the point at which the filing of the lawsuit won’t impact their draft plans.
It’s also possible that the lawsuit and the information in it will indeed impact the team’s draft plans, but that they’d never actually admit that with only two weeks to go until the draft.
Beyond what the Buccaneers knew then and what they know now is the public reaction to the lawsuit. That could ultimately change the team’s plans, regardless of whether they’ll ever admit that the plans have changed or could change.