Don’t expect to be hearing much from Jameis Winston anymore this season.
Coming off of a one-game suspension, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher has banned Winston from press conferences during the week. Fisher said he is doing so to let Winston focus on his academics.
However, I believe this might have been done so that the media can stop focusing on Winston. With all of the media scrutiny, if Winston were to slip up and say the wrong thing, he could make a bad situation worse. Considering his draft stock is already plummeting.
It didn’t come as much of a surprise that Winston was back in the news late last week, for his antics off the field.
As if he doesn’t already have a laundry list of behavioral issues off the field, Winston continues to shock us. This big time, Heisman trophy-winning quarterback and arguably biggest name in college football clearly doesn’t know how to conduct himself as a leader and mature adult off the field.
For those unfamiliar with what happened, Winston, the quarterback for the Florida State Seminoles, stood on a table in the student union and yelled an obscene phrase. Florida State then announced that he would not play in its game against Clemson this past weekend.
He was initially suspended for only the first half of the game. The suspension for the second half came after Florida State discovered that Winston lied to the school authorities about the circumstances surrounding the event.
It’s almost uncanny that in the midst of the NFL dealing with players’ off-field misconduct that Winston would pull a stunt like this. With all of the scrutiny the NFL’s been under, Winston is likely beginning to look like more and more of a liability to any team thinking of drafting him.
Quarterbacks are known to be the face of the team. No NFL team wants to draft a player in the first round who has the capability of tarnishing the franchise with his off-the-field issues.
If Winston can’t behave now while playing for a college team — to the point that his coach won’t allow him to talk to the media — how will he act when he is getting paid to play football by a major organization?
This isn’t the first incident that would have an NFL team questioning his value. These incidents range all the way from shoplifting crab legs and carrying a pellet gun around campus, to being accused of sexual assault.
Winston has continuously displayed a pattern of constant poor judgment. I don’t think any NFL teams can or will trust him.
No matter how talented and athletic he is, to some NFL teams he might not be worth the headache. Drafting him as a top-five pick would cost a team more money than he’s worth right now. At this point he’s proven himself not to be a first-round draft pick.
Winston needs to realize that even though he’s young, his future is riding on his actions on and off the field now. In my opinion, he should stay at Florida State for another year. He needs time to prove to NFL teams and that he can stay out of trouble, grow up and be a respectable man.
It will be interesting to see how heavy the NFL will weigh on players’ actions off the field during the draft, especially after all of the criticisms they’ve received recently. Even watching Johnny Manziel slide in the 2014 NFL Draft was interesting. He likely had to know how big of a factor his off the field issues played in his draft status.
Hopefully Winston can learn to grow up while he is in college, before he becomes an NFL team’s publicity nightmare.