On June 21st, the news came out that the NFL was planning to suspend quarterback Jameis Winston for three games to start the 2018 season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Tampa Bay was well aware of the news Winston could face discipline following an investigation into his alleged groping of a female Uber driver. Though Winston is highly regarded in the organization as a leader, hard worker and player that strives to improve, when he’s on his own time, he’s been involved in several off the field incidents.
The Buccaneers open the season at New Orleans, which is followed by the home opener against the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles and next host Pittsburgh on a Monday night. With Winston starting his fourth season, this is a critical year to determine if he’s their best quarterback in franchise history (that is a low bar, follow this link -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Tampa_Bay_Buccaneers_starting_quarterbacks) or just the next Josh Freeman.
If Winston could have led the Bucs to a 2-1 start, it would have seemed they could easily beat their anticipated win total of 6 from almost every sportsbook.
Oddsmakers Reaction Is Ho-Hum
Because Tampa Bay was well aware of Winston’s situation, they re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick for this upcoming season. Fitzpatrick has enjoyed a much longer than anticipated career because of his intelligence (Ivy League education) and his ability to throw the ball down the field.