The NFL plans to suspend Buccaneers’ quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.
While the league hasn't notified Winston or the Bucs of the news, the plan is to suspend the quarterback for three games, according to Schefter. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that next similar circumstance will mean a one-year suspension.
The driver says she picked up Winston in Scottsdale, Ariz., in the early morning hours of March, 13 2016. As they waited in the drive-through lane at a Mexican restaurant, Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch,” the woman told Buzzfeed.
No police charges were filed, but the driver filed a formal complaint with Uber and Winston was banned from using the service.
While a student at Florida State, Winston was accused of raping a female student. The alleged 2012 assault was not publicized until 2013, amid controversy of a cover up by the school and Tallahassee police. The woman in that case, Erica Kinsman, sued Florida State and reached a settlement that would pay her $950,000. Winston was also suspended for one half of a game in 2014 for shouting a sexual explicit phrase in public.
If suspended, Winston would lose $124,000 in base salary for a three-game suspension because his base salary is only $705,000 this season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the Bucs' starting quarterback in the event of a Winston suspension. Fitzpatrick went 2–1 when Winston sat with a shoulder injury last season. Ryan Griffin would be Fitzpatrick's backup.
The Buccaneers open the season in New Orleans to face the Saints on Sept. 9. The Bucs then host the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles in Week 2 followed by the Steelers in Week 3.