There are just 26 days left until the draft. Thank goodness.
Another week in the books which featured the usual rumors and reports tying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Jameis Winston. With Florida State’s pro day a few days ago, the reports went into overdrive with the coverage.
Honestly, pro days aren’t much to be so hyped up about. Scouts attend them, but as they have said countless times, those scripted workouts don’t mean much. But seeing how the Buccaneers’ brass reacted to each thing Winston did, it’s pretty obvious they are giddy for the kid.
The team pulled out all the stops when an under-the-radar visit that quickly turned national story took place on March 3. Winston met with several members of the Tampa Bay organization — breakfast with head coach Lovie Smith in the morning, taking a tour of the team’s facility with general manager Jason Licht while meeting with him for hours, as well as meeting with wide receiver Vincent Jackson. TheBayCave.com learned this week from several around the league that a prominent voice within the team dined together with Winston the night of his visit. Sources say he informed them the team is all-in for Winston.
That’s not to say the team didn’t do exactly the same for Oregon’s Marcus Mariota when he was in town, but there was no confirmation on any of it either.
During Gruden’s quarterback camp, Bucs running back Bobby Rainey shared a photo this week (h/t JoeBucsFan.com) showing himself with Winston posing together for a picture which he said, “Would love to play with him.”
However, you still have your detractors. Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported Friday that no team (including the Buccaneers and the NFL) has reached out to the accuser’s (Erica Kinsman) legal team as part of their investigative process. Also threw in that sources have told him that a second accuser is ready to come forward.
Of course, certain blogs have jumped all over that report but news of the second accuser is not really news. That has been going on since 2013 and court documents have Kinsman’s separate legal counsels describing this second accuser differently as not calling her accusation rape in the initial claim to now saying that it was rape this past January.
And as for the team not reaching out Kinsman’s legal team, they don’t have to. Her side has been well publicized — no matter which version of the story you choose to read, it’s out there. There is no reason for any team to reach out to the victim in any case. (See Greg Hardy)
At the end of the day, the Buccaneers have done extensive research. Enough to feel comfortable with him and have players and coaches treat him to meals. Their players, coaches, and owners are on board.
That’s all that matters.
Photo courtesy of Buccaneers.com