Sikkema’s Stat of the Week

Alright, let’s just air it all out.

Barring some crazy shift in the universe where Adam Schefter would be wrong in one of his official reports, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is going to start the 2018 season on the suspension list. This comes after an eight-month investigation by the NFL over the allegation of a female Uber driver, who claims Winston groped her while in a drive-thru late at night when Winston was in Arizona in 2016. Since we learned of the NFL investigation last November, small clues have come out (such as Winston’s former Florida State teammate Ronald Darby being with him on that trip), but for almost the entirety of the investigation there was total radio silence.

Until last week.

Last week the flood gates were opened. It started when Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron announced that Winston’s camp was preparing for a suspension — one that could be anywhere from one to three games in length. Cameron cited that the reason for Winston being suspended wasn’t because of a violation of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy, but rather, a failure to report the incident, which would have been upheld using both the new policy (which was put in place at the end of 2016) and the old policy (which was put in place in 2014). Though the newest policy is more specific than the old one in terms of player responsibility to potential violations, language still existed in the old policy that would have likely allowed the NFL do as they pleased. So Cameron’s report of a potential suspension looked valid.

Not 48 hours after Cameron’s initial report hit the airwaves, Schefter announced that it was true; that Winston was being suspended, and it would be for three games instead of one. Later, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times revealed the clarification of Winston’s suspension was even worse, as it was not a failure to report, but rather, that Winston had, in fact, violated the Personal Conduct Policy. That showed that the NFL might have found evidence in their investigations that implied Winston was guilty of the allegations brought before him – mainly in the form of the new knowledge of a second Uber ride now surfacing. Soon after that, Stroud also made it known that Winston would not be appealing.

And thus the spew of Twitter tweets was unleashed, and what follows is my reaction to it all.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston - Photo by: Getty Images
Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Getty Images

Let me start off by saying this: You don’t know.

You don’t know and I don’t know. Most people in the world don’t know.

We don’t know what really happened (yet, if ever), and the length that some of you went to not only completely disregard a serious allegation, but also attack the messengers of reported information as it came out just because it might put the quarterback of your favorite football team in a bad light was sickening.

If I had to read “Who are you going to believe, a girl who’s changed her story or Winston?” one more time I was going to lose it. It’s that kind of attitude that permeates the culture of this country. It’s an attitude that has domestic and sexual abuse well ingrained into the fabric of our society.

Don’t address this situation by calling it “just another Me Too” movement with sarcasm in your voice. There are bad eggs in every cause that might give it a bad name, but empowering women to speak out and bring light to terrible acts, which absolutely do happen (far too often, I’ll add), is not something to dread; it is something we deeply need as a society. Don’t be tired of women coming forward with their experiences. The truth will prevail, and for a long time it didn’t because women didn’t have the platform, support, or safety to speak up. All empowerment does is allow us to put in the work to find truth on any side, rather than live in the laziness of silence or the abhorrent acts of direct opposition.

Recently, I have seen many of you post your support for Winston. To that, I don’t have a problem, as I don’t know everything there is to know. Right now you’re sticking up for someone you look up to and root for. All I would say to that is: You are allowed to root for both your team and for justice and truth. In fact, I would highly encourage you to do both. However, one should exist above the other, and to give you a hint, sports shouldn’t always be the top priority.

The fact of the matter is: I don’t know what’s true and what’s not in this case. I wasn’t there. But I’m sure as hell not going to make light of such an allegation until it’s taken seriously and investigated fully. Even as of right now, neither you nor I know all of what the NFL investigated, so don’t act like you do.

At the end of the day, do I hope Winston is completely innocent? Absolutely I do, but it has nothing to do with football. It’s because I hope such an act never even occurred; it doesn’t matter who was involved.

But, here’s what’s happening. Winston is getting suspended if Schefter’s report is correct. He’s not getting suspended because of a violation for a failure to report. He’s getting suspended for a violation of the Conduct Policy – meaning in how he acted in the case of the investigation at hand. We also know that he’s not appealing if Stroud’s report is correct.

Again, I do not know all the facts. We know Winston came out publicly when the investigation was announced and said that the claims being made against him were completely false. So, in a situation where he’s being suspended for a violation and the allegations against him – that he was sexually inappropriate with a woman – why in the world would he not go to the ends of the Earth to defend his name? Especially knowing that this kind of awful behavior is in his narrative!

I mean, for goodness sake, he went through a rape case while at Florida State. And Winston’s going to let this go if he’s innocent? I’m not trying to claim anything as fact yet, but that’s something I just don’t get. As a man, a future husband and father, role model, and if I was about to carry around the title of a person who did something sexually inappropriate with a woman (perhaps) and I didn’t do it, why would I not being fighting that tooth and nail?

Now, Schefter also put out a reason why Winston is taking the suspension now as opposed to fighting it through an appeals process and that could be because the money he’ll lose over the three games this year is very small compared to what he might lose under his fifth-year option if the suspension drags out and ultimately kicks in next year. But, if he’s innocent, why would you not take this to court and get the facts out there in the case?

Maybe the NFL ends up winning on its power and can suspend him, but at least then we’re not all sitting here thinking Winston did it if he didn’t. Maybe it is a matter of protecting the shield, but right now all I see is a somewhat guilty verdict and no fighting back. What am I suppose to think? That some money let the man sell out his entire reputation? Because I don’t want to think that. I’ve never thought of Winston like that.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston – Photo courtesy of

People have also come out and have been outraged at members of the media as if we have completely disregarded everything Winston has done for the Tampa Bay community. Every time I have ever interacted or been around Winston he has been a wonderful human being. But, though it’s hard for people to accept the duality of the situation, just because Winston has done good things does not automatically mean he’s not capable of doing bad things, as well. We’re not forgetting the good things he’s done.

Heck, I’ve covered many of the events myself. But that doesn’t change what’s being reported. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s being suspended by the NFL. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s taking his three-game suspension without a fight. Both can exist, and right now both do.

The last thing I’m going to say is something that I talked about on Twitter as well as on some recent podcasts. I do not say these things with certainty, but rather wonder what happens next if such is the case.

If Winston lied to the Buccaneers, either about there being a second Uber ride at all or omitting it purposefully, the trust between a franchise quarterback and his franchise is now fractured – perhaps to be sealed, but the scar will always remain. Winston is staring at a three-game suspension for the same type of thing you looked past to draft him, and if he does anything remotely related to such an act again he’ll be suspended for an entire season.

I don’t believe the Buccaneers are going to move on from Winston, at this time, but I do believe that, for the first time since they drafted him, they have to have a Plan B; they have to be prepared. In the three drafts following the 2015 draft of Winston, the Buccaneers have not drafted a single quarterback. That will change next April.

Perhaps they never act on their Plan B. I’m sure they hope they never have to if they end up keeping him. But, nonetheless, the plan has to exist. There has to be a backup plan. That’s not me trying to run Winston out of town or witch hunt him in any way beyond what’s already happening. That is not my intent at all. That is simply me addressing reality. If, and we don’t know this for sure, Winston kept the Buccaneers in the dark about what the NFL ultimately found (enough to suspend him with no appeal), there would be a rift in the trust that I’m not sure I could overcome as a general manager if I’m Jason Licht.

But, I’m not a general manager. Those decisions are not mine to make, and I’m glad they’re not. Because right now I don’t know everything that goes into this. Maybe they do.

But, even now, a Plan B has to take form. We take an in-depth look at what the Buccaneers’ plan B is for Week 1 on the next page.

All of “what’s next” is germane to a situation like this on a site like But let’s not think about that at the expense of remembering that this story is not just about a franchise quarterback of the Buccaneers. It’s about a woman who potentially has faced a sexual assault and is being castigated, by some, for her coming forward. In a society that pushes women who speak up to the margin, I’m going to do what everyone should. I’m going to trust her word to be true as all the facts are investigated.

I’m going to respect her and not blind myself to what may have transpired just because we may want to believe otherwise.

Until we have a clearer picture of what happened, that’s what I’ll do.

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  1. We will start off 0-3. Tgis is the second wasted season in a row. I dont think Kim even gonn watch. Maybe next year is the year we dont have a competitive disadvantage.

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  2. I don’t think the Bucs have a realistic chance to win any of their first three games. With Jameis I think the Bucs were going to go 1-2 or perhaps 2-1. I highly doubt the Bucs will recover from the most likely 0-3 start that will beset them. The probable final record of this team is between 3-13 to 6-10.

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  3. Cmon on Trevor, why would Jameis not fight to the ends of the earth if he’s truly innocent? Hmm maybe because Roger Goodell has shown that he’ll suspend you if he wants to suspend you even if the evidence is circumstantial at best (Brady), or non-existent (Elliot), and there’s nothing anyone can do to sway him.

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    • Trevor isn’t saying Winston should fight it to win, He is saying if he’s really innocent, he should fight it to uphold his reputation. Look at your example Elliot, Had he not fought it a lot more people would think he was guilty. Because he faugh it, the facts came out and now majority of the fans believe he was innocent. When you just take it and don’t fight, a lot of people naturally think your guilty unfortunately, specially if you have already been caught lying about the facts.

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      • Yeah well I couldn’t care less about the court of public opinion and neither should Winston.

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        • Winston just admitted to guilt in a statement. Do you car about that.

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          • No. I really care because unlike some, I don’t think what he’s admitting to is some kind of horrible crime against mankind.

            He was drunk, probably severely misread signals, made an inappropriate advance, was rejected and stopped immediately.

            Is it wrong? Of course it is. Is it something for which we should cut him? Absolutely not.

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          • I don’t think he should be cut either. I agree that I don’t think its as big of a deal as most are making but it is a sexual assault. Maybe not a severe case but it is and I do care. I’m more worried that he lied about it and tried to cover it up. I also think he isn’t done making stupid mistakes.

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  4. James has an empty spot in his heart. He goes in front of the mike and tells us how much he loves the game and how his soul belongs to the Bucs, but it’s a lie. If it was not a lie, he would not be out at night alone, with no one to get his back, in an Uber. He has a car. He is a multi millionaire. He could have rented a car and when you are in his income bracket, that’s what you do. Either you rent a limo, if you are over the top, or you quietly rent a car. He put himself in a situation and he was stupid for putting himself in that situation….no, as I began, something is missing inside of him, like he needs to play with a razor. It’s not a matter of what happened (well if he’s a rapist it is) but that he put himself in that situation. In football terms, he’s screwing up 1st down and constantly ending up in third and long.

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    • I don’t knock him for taking an Uber, reports are saying he got hammered and was starting to get belligerent. If he would have rented a car and drove drunk, we would all be upset with him for not taking an Uber. Where he went wrong was traveling by himself and sitting up front. You never sit upfront unless you have to. There is a reason cabs make you sit in the back. You are right though that he keeps putting himself in 3rd and long positions.

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  5. I very much enjoyed this cover 3. I appreciate your insight.
    My friends and I have already planned our out of town trip to Chicago for game 4.
    Jameis should have a lot of time for film study for that game.

    My best case scenario for the Chicago game would be to see a balanced attack from the offense. It would give us Buc fans hope for the rest of the season no matter what happened in the 1st 3 games.
    Maybe 295 yards 2 TD’s no Int, plus 1 rush TD for Winston. 135 rush yards and 2TD’s from running backs. All TD’s by the offense and no FG’s. A guy can dream right!

    What gets lost in all this talk on Jameis is some of Pewter’s earlier insights into efficiency in the red zone!

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  6. I posted something similar to this on twitter but its relevant here.

    I am not writing off this team to 0-3.

    During the 3 games Jameis missed I saw the team, and the defense, fight its hardest all year. Going 2-1 was due to complete team efforts during that stretch.

    I am not counting out this reshaped D-line. I am not counting out Barber and Rojo bringing a run game that will set up Fitz and all of his offensive weapons.

    1-2 wins are possible

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  7. To soon to tell. Need to see training camp, and preseason. Can we win one or two with Fitz? Yes. Will we? Who knows, but to be fair I could say the same with Jameis starting. I’m with you Trev with plan B, even consider trading for Foles, or waiting till F.A.. If I’m the Bucs, and the suspension is three games, I’d make it an even four by giving a one game team suspension. That would make it clear to Winston the organization is not messing around. One question Trev… can Griffin win the starting job, will there even be a competion?

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  8. I firmly believe the outcome of our first three games will be decided by our defense and not our offense. Considering the lack of production from last year’s defense and that can be a really frightening thought but I hold out a lot of hope for what Jason Licht did with his off season moves. I might be looking through rose colored glasses but I think the defensive upgrades will provide for more one score games this year and make this team competitive enough that we win more of them than we lose.

    For our first three games, I predict we go 1-2 getting our first win in the season opener against New Orleans. And who knows, a lucky bounce here and there coupled with a sound running game and no stupid turnovers and we might even surprise and steal another win in one of the other two games. Ok, maybe I am suffering from delusions of grandeur!

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  9. I’ve truly never been able to understand everyone’s obsession with strength of schedule, season predictions, and how a player is going to perform. The NFL arguably has the most parity of any sport in the world. To sit here and insinuate that the Saints, Steelers, and Eagles are going to be as good or better in 2018 is just silly. In fact, it’s a lot more likely that 1, 2, or even all 3 teams regress. But some of you have made up your minds on what’s going to happen in 2018, I won’t even debate with the fortune tellers who take last season’s results as gospel.

    However I think it is interesting to look at why we have a decent shot at each. Please keep in mind this is all speculation and not my stern opinion of the matter, but rather an optimistic perception as to why we can win these games.

    We cannot overlook the significance of the absence of Mark Ingram with the saints. That team has been 7-9 for 3 years before finally balancing the offense with a run game. Sure, Kamara is the superstar right now but he has not shown his ability to be a workhorse back. It can be debated that the offense runs through Ingram and supplemented by Kamara and Brees. The defense has improved, but it’s still unseen if that translates to another season. Lattimore is key on that side of the ball. Now look at week 17 of last season. We won the game while Jameis had 1 TD and 3 Ints. I think it’s evident that our run game and defense has a significant contribution to that W. Peyton Barber averaged 4.2 yards per rush and we limited the Saints to 24 point even with a +2 turnover differential in there favor. We did not win primarily because of Winston and it could be argued we won in spite of him. Oh and guess what, WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!

    The Eagles have just won the Super Bowl. There is such a thing as a Super Bowl Hangover. Teams often regress after winning the big one and it could happen again. Let’s also not forget that Carson Wentz is still not 100% healthy. Pederson has also been on record that they are attempting to keep him inside the pocket more and limit his scrambling which was a direct result of his injury. He will take time to acclimate and it could benefit us. Also, look who are now Buccaneers. That’s right, Beau Allen and Vinny Curry. Two significant pieces to their dominant run defense which was a key component to their Super Bowl run. Not only have we acquired them to strengthen our run defense, but they also have inside information on the Eagles. Two birds, one stone with their addition. They could pay huge dividends in that game.

    Now for the Steelers. Let’s not act like they don’t lose games they should win EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. They lost to the Bears and got destroyed by the Jaguars last season (yes I know the jags are good, but it was week 5 and they were 2-2, not exactly a powerhouse yet). Our defense SHOULD be greatly improved and could certainly put some pressure on their offense. Don’t forget the last time we played them at their house, we won the game behind MIKE GLENNON. Anything can certainly happen, especially IN OUR HOUSE ON PRIMETIME.

    I just love watching NFL Network when their analysts review a schedule and predict the W/L columns from which seems directly related to last season’s success. You cannot accurately predict parity. Thus why predicting 0-3 is just as silly as predicting 3-0. We are experiencing adversity but I can promise you one thing, the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers all will too in 2018.

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    • Whew! I appreciate the time it took to write this! I like the passion.

      I’m with you on a lot of it. Anything can happen.

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      • Thanks Trevor!

        I’ve written for several sites too so I share your passion. I agree with a lot of what you said as well. Great work!

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      • If you ever have any job opportunities, I’m your man! haha

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        • Noted!

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    • Using the past season as strength of schedule is a horrible measure. “These strength-of-schedule estimates that are being thrown around right now seem to have no role at all in determining teams’ (upcoming year) records.”

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      • Thank you!

        I get it though. There are not many other resources than can be utilized to determine next year’s outcome. It’s even more difficult when you consider injuries, roster additions and subtractions, and player improvement/regression.

        They are literally just guesses that are determined by the preceding year’s win/loss column.

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  10. Next man up and we go forward. I’m not going to comment anymore about Winston.
    I support the Bucs and if they have the drive and heart to put out the extra effort we can be in every game. We may not win every game, but if we tried our best there’s nothing else we can say, but support the team. Go Bucs!

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    • I totally agree Horse, Like Mac said a few days ago, until the final report comes out from the league everyone’s opinion about the Jameis situation is hypothetical. Why lose sleep over opinion. I think we have improved in a couple of position groups, esp. D-Line and RB. I truly believe we will be competitive (under dogged, but competitive.) So, I am going to remain optimistic and let the cards fall where they may. Go Bucs

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  11. I think Fitz is capable of winning games. With this suspension coming im not worried about the QB position. Im more worried about our defense. If our defense can play well and keep us in the game Fitz can get the job done. If were playing from behind a lot and have to throw it more then we want because were down 20 points then were in trouble. I say we Beat NO week 1, Lose at home to Philly, then Win a close one on Monday Night against the Steelers. So call me optimistic, but i think 2-1 is realistic.

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  12. I’m going to point out that the main point of your analysis of one play in your article is completely wrong. The play where you’re saying Fitz “has to hold back on the bomb”… Your point is that the ball shouldn’t have been thrown, that Jackson was never open on the play,

    I beg to differ. The ball was thrown at exactly the right moment, but it was just way under thrown. If that ball had come down three yards past the goal line instead of three yards short, it was a TD. At the moment the ball was thrown, Jackson was blasting past the CB at speed. If he hadn’t had to slow down for the underthrown pass, the defender would have been a non-factor on the play.

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    • I mean, I guess, sure. If he put the ball deeper, but then we’re talking about a 60-ish yard throw. Plus, he goes after the long ball where two guys are on Jackson where there was single coverage/a hole in the zone for the other three receivers on the other side of the field.

      I think that’s what the play was designed for because you see him look off the side with the more options really quick, but that was still a super risky throw. They were still down big in that game, though, so it wasn’t the worst. But I would have gone for the throw on the other side.

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      • Oh, I think it was absolutely the right choice. A TD is a TD. I think Fitz saw the coverage and knew it would be open for a big play.

        But the play is a microcosm of Fitz as a QB. He sees the right play but too often doesn’t have the arm to make it.

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        • That second part I agree with!

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  13. Trevor, this is a good article, as usual from Pewter Report. My comment is only for page one; while I appreciate your perspective about the allegations against Jameis and learning the facts, I do not come to the same conclusion. I am not believing either Jameis OR the young lady until the truth has come out. If he is guilty he should be accountable and be punished. If she is wrong, the same goes for her. I just have a problem that although she never made a police report of the incident, she hired an attorney. And although she is from Arizona, she hires the same attorney used by the girl at Florida State. Why?

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    • I don’t blame you for not wanting to commit to action before the facts come out, and that’s fine (to an extent). But what I’m saying is that in the case of allege sexual misconduct, you have to take the woman’s word for it and then work from there as your baseline, not the other way around. Treating situations as such is the only was we will see a diminished number of these cases, in which there are far too many currently, likely because of lack of empowerment to get the truth because we don’t take victim’s claims seriously enough.

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  14. In every Bad situation Jameis has been involved in, he’s proclaimed his innocence.Do you really think that Girl at FSU and the uber driver just said, Gee, its Jameis Winston..lets get him? You don’t just randomly get involved in these type of situations. And yes, she hire the same atty as the Fl St girl. I would do the same GD thing. Ever heard of..Nexus? I’m sick of people defending Mr. Winston. When is he going to finally mature, be a man and start concentrating on Football?!! There’s a high probability Jameis is Guilty on a lot of accusations hurled at him. One more incident Mr. Winston and I say, we should include YOU..right along with Koetter and Smitty on Nat Geo Wilds Shark Week as bait..if they have a losing upcoming season. I’m so sick and tired of Excuses from this franchise yr after yr. We can’t win so we just have outside Drama with this team. All I can say is they had better win this year. If not, You wil see a rebellion amongst the Buc fans. Next man up with Fitz. I like Fitz. He’s calm and smart. Does not stop the opposing Defenses though. IF..we are as improved as a lot of you think we are, Our Defense able to win at least one..maybe 2 of those 1st three games (optimism here). But I don’t care. NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buclife Baby.

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    • If you read my comment open mindedly, there is NO defense of Jameis. If he’s guilty, he should receive punishment. I’m content to wait for the truth to come out.

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  15. Just wanted to start off by saying I appreciate what you bring to Pewter Report Trevor. I can really tell the time, effort and passion you put into your writing and it’s always refreshing to get your point of view on these different topics. Keep up the work, you’ve got lots of fans!

    Secondly, I’m sure there are other fines like me but I have totally bought into winston. I’m from Washington State so I have no ties to FSU if anything I was closer to UO, but I was still for Winston with the No 1 pick all the way. I’ve been the biggest winston supporter, I’m the guy who picks him as 3rd QB off the board in FF, I named my dog after him, hell I bought a $300 white winston jersey.
    I really hope Jameis is innocent. But if he is guilty and the bucs cut ties with him I wonder if the Glazers will do something for their fans like Kraft did with the hernandez situation. (Not saying the two cases are the same, but I do think sexual abuse allegations are more terrible than we treat them) Are we gunna get to switch out our winston jerseys for new ones because we bought into this guy just like the bucs did? Again, I still am hoping 100% that he is innocent and not just from the football side of it but because I believed in this guy and have supported this guy when other people try to talk shit about him to me. I guess we will have answers to this all in the next 6 months or so.

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    • Thanks, Jordan. I appreciate it!

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  16. Regarding the appeal, if he decides not to I would think it’s because there’s not enough hard evidence either way to overturn the suspension…and he likely knows that. Regardless of whether everything reported up until this point is true, in the end it will come down to her word against his as to what happened in the car that night. The fact that it now appears he lied in his statement doesn’t help his cause at all, so it’s tough to fault him for not appealing. I definitely get your point about defending his name, but the cards look stacked against him enough to not justify it. And by no means is that somehow an admission of guilt, but rather an admission that there’s not enough evidence to prove anything, guilty or innocent, without a shadow of a doubt. I don’t envy any lawyer who deals with sexual and domestic abuse where evidence is often circumstantial and judgement often comes down to who the more credible party is.

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  17. Trevor, nice post. I couldnt agree with you more. I expect that the league has access to enough evidence and testimony to come to a reasonable conclusion as to whether he abused the Uber driver, and then if he did, lied about it to the public and to the Bucs. We know for a fact he was at least not telling the whole truth, by failing to name the third passenger, and that there was a second ride all by himself, and that he was behaving badly that entire evening.

    What to do about it? It depends upon the full set of confirmed facts, to which we are not yet privy … though it’s likely that the Glazers already have been briefed. How the Glazers react may also depend upon how the community (not just Bucs fans) reacts to the full accounting.

    As for prospects this year, I am very skeptical, period, of the Bucs on field performance. I think Fitz is a pretty good backup, capable of winning games if the rest of the team plays well, and if the coaches don’t eff it up.

    That’s a couple of big ifs. Much bigger factors, in my opinion, than who is taking the snaps behind center.

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  18. Eagles will have the “Super Bowl Hangover”. We always play the Saints tough and I like we ended season beating them last year even though game didn’t matter. Steelers in Tampa hot and humid as hell in September! I’m not writing us off to 0-3 just yet. Depends on so many unknowns. Defense will have to really be better not just on paper. Will need a run game, and need Fitz to be smart. He throws as many picks as Jameis really ratio wise last year? He’s more accurate and savvy reading defense but his arm isn’t what used to be and he’s not as good at scrambling out of trouble. Will be interesting to see.

    Winston is an idiot. Will see how it plays out. Can’t say I’m surprised really with his past. I wanted to believe he changed and they vetted him properly but….just because you do community service etc doesn’t mean your not a scum bag or sexual predator. I’m sure he’s done most of that at his agents or publicity persons urging. Maybe he really wanted to who knows and doesn’t matter. There have been judges, politicians, etc that seemed like outstanding citizens that were really dirtbags.

    I’m not writing him off but I’m close if I’m Glazers. And yes Trevor they will have a plan B you can bet on that. No way they wouldn’t at this point.

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  19. This one hasn’t been as blasphemous as a couple of your other recent articles. But one thing is certain, whether he is guilty or not. Winston is starting to portray himself as a really dumb person for not being able to figure out this public perception thing. Second, the next part of your article has me the most excited because now I get to reference some of those blasphemous remarks constantly being made that this is a passing QB driven league, like all of you stupid media members keeping spewing like verbal diarrhea. If the Bucs defense plays to the rank of 15th-17 at worst in scoring, the offense produces at least 125 yards a game, Fitz only throws between 20-25x a game and the offense as a whole turning it over no more than once per game. This team could easily go 2-1 against anyone, if not better. Cause psst here’s a big secret, THAT’S HOW TEAMS HAVE ALWAYS WON FOOTBALL GAMES FOR 100 YEARS NOW!! It’s not gonna change until you can’t tackle anymore, like at all period. There might be cute little trends or a once in a lifetime talent like Tom Brady that can alter it briefly. And even with the greater talents, the less they throw per game the higher their win percentage is. So I’m also gonna put it out there that whoever is our GM next year, hopefully it still will be Licht, they should go top heavy trenches with the draft next year since there is gonna be so much talent. Then you can draft a QB in like the 4th Rd. Just ones that can make all the throws you need a NFL QB to make. Ask him to only throw the ball 20-25x a game, don’t turn the ball over, get 120+ yards a game and decent defense. And guess what at least he wouldn’t be a perceived predator.

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    • Even though I don’t agree with you on the emphasis of your stance on the running game, you continue to cape for it, and I gotta respect the stance, I guess, haha.

      Every team in the NFL will tell you that running the ball is the easiest and if you can do it, do it well and have a good defense behind it, you can win. But that style of play is also usually the one with the lowest margin for error — especially since it involves both sides of the ball being very good without hiccups. That’s why it’s a quarterback league. Because you have a much better chance of throwing for more points than running for more points. That’s why passing totals are obviously much higher than running totals.

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  20. Obviously, you win some and lose some. Not always gonna get that production. But the point is, there is a formula to winning football games and building the confidence of a young QB into a GREAT QB. And it doesn’t need to include Jameis Winston or his perceived rapiness…

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  21. And when I mean 125 yrs a game, I mean on ground, 200-225 passing.

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  22. Im pretty sure most of the details about Winston’s late-night drive-thru bust-a-move-by-groping the Uber driver are close enough to the truth that no one wins by dragging it out. Jameis likely won’t get less of a suspension and the Uber driver won’t be able to prove anything further and may be harassed by NFL fans. Look, he seems to have made a dumb mistake. The driver didn’t feel the need to report him to police so it wasn’t malicious just unwelcomed. It seems she just didn’t want any other female Uber drivers to be bothered/groped. Jameis just needs to acknowledge it, apologize for it, go through the suspension, and move on. Its less Shakespearean than the media is making it.

    As far as winning the three games Jameis will miss, well, thats anyones guess. I could see the defense keeping the Bucs in each of the games. I could also see the Bucs offense moving the ball and scoring. Go 12 personnel and take 3-20 yards at a time. ALL DAY with this roster against ANY defense.

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  23. Trevor,

    I appreciate your willingness to put your own name out there like this. I also appreciate the fact that you’re unwilling to simply trust Winston’s side of the story. I hope that the truth comes out completely and I hope that if Jameis did it thenTampa would cut him from the team and move on to a rookie next season or Teddy Bridgewater ASAP.

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  24. Kaepernick?

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  25. I’m not known for being an optimist but there’s a LOT more talent on this team than Fitz won with last year, with a running back defenses will have to respect and a credible pass rush. And as others have posted the Steelers aren’t infallible. plus the Eagles will either be playing someone who played FANTASTIC when he needed to, let’s not take anything away from him, but was the backup for a reason, or Wentz who could come out a little rusty. I think 1-2 is definitely possible, actually even likely given how up & down the NFL is from season to season.

    From there, as it was always going to be anyway, it’s Winston’s time to shine. If he can make good on-field decisions in terms of choosing receivers, not locking onto them early and not trying to force things (which should help limit the turnovers to a reasonable number) we’re in business. He has always had the physical tools, you can’t teach those but all players talk about the game slowing down for them, as young as he is maybe this is the year it happens for Winston.

    Sticking to what happens on the field I think it’s worth people being just a little bit patient. After the first three we enter a seven game stretch where only the Falcons scare me. We could easily come out of those 10 games still in the mix and down the stretch will tell the tale. Sure it’s not a perfect setup but our roster was so thin last year that I’m actually more optimistic going into this season.

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  26. Thanks to everyone for the replies on this one. I know I can’t get to them all, but I do read them all (every week). The ones about Winston and the ones about Fitz.

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  27. I’m really interested to know who is telling you that teams are telling you it’s a QB league. Gerald who is Pro Bowler in the league literally just told you this in his last live press conference that it is a running league…and he plays the game right now. So I’m really interested to know why you are still fighting this notion so hard. Your response to my comment has been proven wrong in the majority of EVERY SUPER BOWLor NFL championship result. Dominant defense and a controlling game has produced larger margins of victories when a top 5 scoring defense and running game does than a marginal defense and running game with a top 5 finesse offense. You are woefully ignorant or maybe just blind. Because Tom Brady is the only outletlier to break that mold, not Montana, not Aikman, or Bradshaw, or Manning or anyone else you want to throw n there. So please stop propagating this nonsense.

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  28. I don’t know the facts of this case and neither does anyone else because none have been published. To form any opinion before proven facts are given is being prejudiced, no matter what side you are on.
    I neither belief or disbelief this woman but I am not going to believe her just because she is a woman and has made an allegation.

    To many mens lives have been ruined because of false accusations. (See Duke Lacrosse team)
    I will say that I suspect many of the people who have come out against Winston and his alleged horrible behavior are probably the same people who voted for a President who bragged that he did this type of behavior constantly because if you are a famous person you can grab a woman by the pu$$y.
    I would like to see all those people who have villified Winston to do the same against the lying, serial cheating sexual predator who resides in the White House right now.

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    • I enjoy your football related opinions, but I sure wish you’d take your worn out political message elsewhere. Funny how you hold the current resident of the White House more accountable than the one who swore he, “never had sex with that woman.”

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      • “Sexual relations”

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        • Thanks for the clarification. I know it’s important to be politically correct.

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          • Hilarious stuff. I love the false equivalency. Bill Clinton told one lie. About sex. Donald Trump lies 10 times per day. And he’s helping Russia destroy American democracy!

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      • ‘…you hold the current resident of the White House more accountable than the one who swore he, “never had sex with that woman.”‘

        Who says he was not held accountable? While he very likely escaped what he deserved, he was impeached. You remember that, right? He is one of only two presidents in US history ever to be impeached.
        You want to talk about accountability, OK, then, How about the Right gets off that high horse and stops pretending they (many of them) are not also a bunch of hypocritical jerks?

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  29. As for Jameis’ situation, I was under the impression that he was being suspended for failure to report. Now that I know this isn’t true, it does cause a bit of worry…however, the fact that this event was 2 years ago and he has been incident free since then does bode well for him. Until all the fact are revealed, and they may never be, I will reserve my judgement. As far as Jameis not appealing though, I can see why he wouldn’t. I mean, the golden boy Tom Brady tried and failed, as did Zeke so why would Jameis expect to have any chance at winning his appeal? Taking his suspension and getting it out of the way early may be his best option.

    When it comes to the first 3 games of the season, I feel like if we were gonna win it would be with a running game and good defense either way. Those things could still happen with Fitz under center. On top of that, in a lot of ways we may be better off with Fitz as he is the higher floor choice despite also having a lower ceiling. Fitz just needs to manage the game and not turn the ball over and he has proven to be able to do so.

    The ship is not sinking, our defense is still there and we still have all our weapons on offense. It is very plausible to pick up 2 wins in the first 3 games with Fitz. Who knows, Fitz may impress so much that Jameis doesn’t take the starting job back immediately.

    Defense and running game will still determine this season’s outcome.

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  30. Trevor, great article as always.

    I have one question. Is it true that all nfl players have a number they can phone that provides nfl authorised transportation if they are drunk?

    Reports say that the incident refers to the taxi ride home when he was on his own, drunk and had to be bundled into a cab.

    If he used the nfl taxi wouldn’t this have been avoided?

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    • I actually do not know. I’m sure teams have something like that in their local cities, but I don’t think it’s a league service.

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  31. Something I don’t undestand is how is the 2nd ride relevant? He was passed out from what I gather and no accusations came of that ride did they? It sounds completely irrelevant.

    Something Trevor may not understand. Its not up to Winston to take it to court. The accuser never reported this and its on her to take him to court. She hired the exact same attorney as Kinsman. The only obvious fact is that she is angling for a big settlement and Winston won’t pay it.

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    • The second ride would seem to be the one the victim is referencing because that would have been the one later at night. In her story, she says that the ride happened around 2 a.m.

      Yes, I know. I was also educated as to what comes out in court via appeals and it’s not the case itself but the process.

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    • Goes to show, some people can read the same information as everybody else, but only come out of it with what they WANT it to say. Where did you read, anywhere, of a report that said Winston was passed out on the 2nd ride? You decided to believe he was passed out. What the reports said was that he was very drunk (and possibly unruly), so Uber was called to get him out of there.

      You are right about this not going to court unless the Uber driver wants to press charges. But, the fact that she is represented by the same attorney as Kinsman is not a sign of any plot. There is very good legal reason for her to be represented by same firm. You seem to want to give Winston the benefit of the doubt, even though he’s already been caught in one lie. You don’t want to do the same for the alleged victim, even though nothing she said has yet been proven as a lie.

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  32. Trevor, I thought your report of the Winston situation was both professional and incredibly progressive. I certainly support due process and am disgusted by cases of wrongful incarceration, but I agree with you that these cases of sexual misconduct need to be treated differently.

    People who are abused/assaulted don’t necessarily take actions that may otherwise be considered logical in the aftermath of their ordeals. That’s part of the problem with judging them in this way – they don’t necessarily think that the first thing to do is to go straight to the hospital and then the police and then the local law firm and have the entire event all nicely laid out in their mind and repeated just so for everyone. They were just messed up physically AND psychologically, so we need to take that into account.

    I agree that we don’t know. And, we don’t know about FSU. But, that should be getting very uncomfortable for Jameis…and I agree, if he’s not so uncomfortable to even defend this, he’s skating on very thin ice. I recall ASJ – drafting him despite his DUI at UW and then cutting him loose when he DUI’d again in Tampa. Now, that’s a TE not a QB, but it’s also DUI not assault.

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  33. “The accuser never reported this and its on her to take him to court. She hired the exact same attorney as Kinsman. The only obvious fact is that she is angling for a big settlement and Winston won’t pay it.”

    “I neither belief or disbelief this woman but I am not going to believe her just because she is a woman and has made an allegation.”

    You cannot retire on UBER kind of money. Why don’t more people believe she is in it for the money?? Not wanting to make a false police report?? She hired the exact same attorney as Kinsman. Follow the money, always follow the money.
    She said he said!!

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    • You certainly have a right to your own opinion. Opinions can be informed or uninformed. Yours is of the latter variety.

      Your argument is full of holes, both legal and logical. Enough holes that it would take some time to point them all out. Based on the arrogant world-view that seems to back up such an uninformed opinion, I suspect you probably don’t want to be better informed. Fair enough. If you were interested, you could investigate these holes yourself. That’s your choice. I admit I may be wrong about your willingness to understand these holes in your thinking, because I don’t like to operate from such a narrow and judgmental position. If you want to discuss them, I’d be happy to oblige, but otherwise, I won’t waste my time or yours.

      To make this short, well informed opinions are mostly based on fact, keen observation, and logic. Most of your opinion on this seems to be backed up only by narrow assumptions and wild speculation, not facts or logic.
      You have a right to your opinion. But, if you’re going to publicly post an opinion as uninformed as this one, you have to figure you might get called on it.

      Just sayin’!

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      • jp414, thanks for your input + it will give me more to think about .

        Go Bucs !!!

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  34. I just don’t buy the 0-3 argument with or without Winston. Usually the first few weeks of any season is where you see the most upsets before everything kinda equals out schematic wise (i.e. no surprises as after a few weeks teams have enough film on each other for game planning). Look how many playoff teams started off with losses (some true upsets) in the first few weeks last season. I’m hoping the influx of talent on our defensive line coupled with a better game plan catches a few of these teams off guard.

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