Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is expected to be suspended for three games as a result of the accusation that he groped an Uber driver in March of 2016.
The looming suspension was first reported by ESPN Radio in Tallahassee and has now been confirmed by multiple reporters.
According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Winston is not expected to appeal. The NFL has broad authority to suspend players, so an appeal likely wouldn’t do much good. An appeal that stretches out so long it lasts into the 2019 season could also cost Winston a lot of money: A three-game suspension in 2018 would cost him $124,000, or three-seventeenths of his 2018 base salary of $705,000. But a three-game suspension in 2019 would cost him $3.7 million, or three-seventeenths of his 2019 base salary of $20.9 million.
What is unclear is whether Winston is being suspended because the NFL’s investigation verified the woman’s claim that Winston groped her, or because Winston failed to disclose the accusation. NFL rules require all players to voluntarily come forward if they are accused of any violations of the league’s personal-conduct policy. Winston may profess that he didn’t grope the Uber driver, but he was aware of her accusation and he didn’t disclose it.
One way or another, Winston is likely to miss the first three games of the season.