Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for three games to start the 2018 season, according to multiple reports.
The suspension stems from an alleged incident with an Uber driver in Arizona in which she accused the Bucs QB of groping her. No charges were filed.
Pro Football Talk — under the headline, “Did Jameis Winston, NFL strike a deal?” — does some interesting connecting of dots over the punishment under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
The baseline suspension for Winston’s alleged behavior is a six-game suspension, and he’ll get half that. Winston appears willing to accept the suspension, rather than appealing, which would expose the NFL to another protracted investigation/hearing process that could end up in court (think: Ezekiel Elliott P.R. debacle).
Writes PFT’s Mike Florio, who it’s worth noting has a law degree:
“Here’s a fact that further points to a bargain possibly being brokered: Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that ‘Winston’s suspension could be increased if he fails to meet certain undisclosed requirements expected to be imposed by the NFL.’ That feels like the kind of term that would be added to a negotiated compromise aimed at wrapping things up easily, while also making it even easier to whack him with another penalty if he runs afoul of the NFL’s expectations.”
Striking deals over lengths of suspensions goes against the NFL’s long-held belief that it is the judge and jury in these cases.
Interesting what years of bad publicity regarding first Tom Brady and Deflategate and then Elliott and his suspension can do to long-held beliefs.