Sports

Nike Officially Dumps One of the NFL's Biggest Problem Children

Jameis Winston is starting to learn that there are consequences for his actions — no matter how famous he is.

Nike has officially parted ways with the quarterback, the latest fallout from his off-the-field problems.

The Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State already has been suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the NFL’s personal code of conduct policy stemming from an incident where he allegedly groped an Uber driver in 2016.

As The Wildcard documented last month, Winston has piled up controversies more than he has racked up touchdowns.

At FSU, he was accused of sexual assault. Winston faced no criminal charges, but the university agreed to pay the victim $950,000 to settle a lawsuit.

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Then came two shoplifting incidents: the first at Burger King, where he was accused of stealing a soda, and then the infamous case in which he was charged with taking crab legs from a Publix supermarket.

Winston also stood on a table at the FSU student center and yelled vulgar remarks.

All of those incidents had few consquences for the young quarterback.

Then-FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher suspended his star for the first half of a game against Clemson.

Is Jameis Winston worth the trouble?

Winston still won the Heisman Trophy, still led the Seminoles to a national championship and still was the top pick in the NFL draft.

Now, with a three-game suspension to start this season, the Buccaneers have no choice but to consider moving on from their franchise quarterback.

According to Spotrac, doing so becomes a great deal easier after this season.

In 2018, he will make $3.891 million and count for a salary cap hit of $8.066 million.

Next season, that cap number jumps to $20.922 million, but there is no guaranteed money.

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In other words, there would still be a ramification for Tampa Bay’s salary cap, but that’s just a number: The Bucs could cut their losses and not be on the hook to pay Winston anything.

As ESPN points out, the Nike decision makes the company 0-3 with Heisman Trophy winners, as they struck out with Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow (as a football player; when he switched to baseball, he moved to Adidas).

It’s not hard to envision more companies bailing out on Winston, especially if the Bucs struggle again this year.

In three years as a professional, Winston has a quarterbacking record of 18-27. He’s thrown the second-most interceptions (44) since he came into the league in 2015, and his 15 lost fumbles are the most of any player during that span.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Birthplace
Sudbury, Massachusetts
Honors/Awards
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Education
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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