The Buccaneers went ahead and took one potential distraction out of the way, signing top pick Jameis Winston to his rookie contract before the rest of the draft was over.
And in doing so, they eliminated another potential distraction.
According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the contract contains a clause prohibiting Winston from playing professional baseball during the length of the deal.
While that should be an easy call, Winston created some concern in Bucs officials by expressing his desire to at least consider playing baseball at some point, saying “It has always been my dream, but I’m just playing football right now.”
That could easily be read as a lack of focus, and it was a concern to Bucs officials. They texted Winston and spoke to him after the comments became public, telling him that wasn’t OK with them if they were making him the top pick in the draft. Winston told them he understood, but was just speaking honestly and loved baseball.
But as with so many other things, the Buccaneers worked to eliminate distractions, so their No. 1 overall pick can do what he does best.