Jameis Winston wants to clarify something. "I just know that I'm committed to this team, and committed to doing my best to provide an opportunity for me later," the embattled former No. 1 overall pick said according to Jenna Laine of ESPN. He wants the world to know that he is committed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team, however, has no such commitment to him.
The Buccaneers picked up Winston's fifth-year option before the season. That will pay him over $20 million next season, but there is a catch. It is guaranteed only for injury. If Winston gets seriously hurt over the next two weeks, the Buccaneers have to pay him. If he is healthy, but they decide that they don't want him, they can cut him without consequence. And if Tampa Bay decided to go that way, nobody would blame them.
Winston comes with a variety of off-field concerns dating back to his time at Florida State and culminating with a three-game suspension at the beginning of this season. NFL teams have shown a willingness to ignore issues like that, but only for players that produce. Winston has regressed on the field this year. A career-high 4.4 percent of his passes have been intercepted.