“The days leading up to yesterday, there was an excitement in this building that you can’t put into words and it’s been almost 24 hours and that excitement hasn’t subsided,” general manager Jason Licht said as he started Winston’s introductory press conference. “We feel Jameis is a great fit for us and he feels the same, so much so that we were able to get a contract done already.”
Winston and the Bucs agreed on a four-year, $23.35 million deal that includes a $16.7 million signing bonus per NFL Media. And with that out of the way, Winston is already looking ahead.
“I’m just looking forward to getting with the team,” Winston said. “We have some great teammates. I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff and just playing some football. This whole thing has been long for me, but football is what I’m here for and I can’t wait.
“I believe preparation is everything. I plan to prepare and I plan to prepare harder than anyone else. I can’t wait to get the chance. If you can get the playbook for me, please get it for me. I cannot wait.”
Part of his excitement is getting to throw to wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. His excitement is such that he can not hide it.
“Oh my, man. That’s another important thing that I’m blessed to be a Buc with,” Winston said. “I had Kelvin Benjamin at Florida State, but now I have two of them. I have two 6-5 receivers. It’s a blessing and I look forward to working with those guys.”
Although he is looking forward to working with his new teammates, Winston understands there will be struggles. But he is prepared for them.
“That’s where hard work comes into play. As long as we are working hard and as long as we give it everything we have, it’s going to come around. I’m not really a negative person. I’m very optimistic, so you can find something positive in every situation. I’m looking forward to this rookie season. I really am.”
Winston will get his first chance of working for the season — albeit with other rookies — next weekend during rookie minicamp. But it’ll be in a Buccaneers practice uniform and the first sign of a new era in Tampa Bay.
Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com