Judging by the story of the Uber driver, identified only as Kate, Winston’s off-the-field development has also been one grand lie, built out of nothing. Again, there was already plenty of evidence BEFORE the draft that making Winston the face of their franchise would be a colossal mistake. The rape case. The crab legs. “Fuck her in the pussy!” “Show ne [sic] da boobies,” etc. Did the Bucs give a shit? Reader, they did not. Everyone is entitled to be young and dumb. But Winston’s transgressions at FSU suggested that he was a lousy person and not merely an immature one: a terminal dipshit enabled and emboldened by authority figures, all of whom had more interest in whitewashing his sins than actively addressing them.


So here the Bucs are, stuck with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB to begin the 2018 season and on the hook for an extra $20.9 million if they decide to keep Winston around for 2019. The team has yet to make a statement about Winston’s case, although I can assure you that his formal punishment will come with a stern letter from Goodell and a Certificate of Badness stamped with his signature. The Bucs could divest themselves of Winston for this if they chose to. But my guess is that they won’t. My guess is that they will profess vague “disappointment” in the outcome, and then keep Winston around and try to make it work. He’s a young man, you guys. He’s learned his lesson. We think he’s still got a lot of potential. It’ll probably sound a lot like the same excuses you heard for Winston years and years ago, and it’ll prove what nearly all of these cases prove: that it’s not merely the player who needs to grow the fuck up.