Report: Jameis Winston Bracing for NFL to Suspend Him for Up to 3 Games

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2018

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Jameis Winston (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
Bob Leverone/Associated Press

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open the 2018 NFL season against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 9, they could be doing so without their franchise quarterback under center.

According to ESPN Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron (h/t JoeBucsFan.com), Winston is bracing for the league to suspend him for an alleged incident with an Uber driver in March 2016:

"What he'll be suspended over is a failure to report. ...This is what I do know: The Winston camp is prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension of some kind. The thought from the Winston camp is that would be a maximum of three games. I do not know at this time whether or not they plan to appeal, and I do not know that three games is an accurate number. I've been told that would seem to be the maximum number of games that the suspension could be. It's also likely that it's less than that and it's one game."  

Per BuzzFeed's Talal Ansari, Winston—who was sitting in the passenger seat—allegedly grabbed a female Uber driver's crotch early while waiting in line at a drive-thru on the morning of March 13, 2016. 

The Uber driver, Kate, described the Buccaneers star as "very physically imposing."

"I wasn't just creeped out, I was frozen," Kate told Ansari. "I mean he's an NFL quarterback and I'm 5'6". I'm not prepared for that. So I completely froze."

Winston denied any inappropriate actions:

"A news organization has published a story about me regarding an alleged incident involving a female Uber driver from approximately two years ago. The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her. The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately. At the time of the alleged incident, I denied the allegations to Uber, yet they still decided to suspend my account.

"I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false. While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don't want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way."

The allegations in the BuzzFeed article did not surface until November 2017. The NFL responded by launching an investigation into the situation.

It appears as though this situation may soon be resolved—and Winston is preparing for bad news.

While at Florida State, Winston was accused of sexual assault. He was never charged, and the school eventually settled the lawsuit.