Jameis Lanaed Winston (// JAY-mis; born January 6, 1994) is an American football quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). Born and raised in Alabama, he was a highly regarded quarterback in high school, and led his team to the state championship as a junior. Winston played college football for the Florida State Seminoles and as a Redshirt freshman became the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy and helped lead the Seminoles to a victory in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. In his sophomore and final year, the Seminoles advanced to the Rose Bowl, part of the College Football Playoff. Winston also played on Florida State's baseball team. Winston was drafted as the first overall pick by the Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Winston with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015
|No. 3 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Born:||January 6, 1994|
Bessemer, Alabama, United States
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||231 lb (105 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
Winston was born in Bessemer, Alabama on January 6, 1994. He attended Hueytown High School, where he played both football and baseball. Winston was considered the best dual-threat quarterback recruit in the nation by Rivals.com, the best overall quarterback recruit by ESPN. Winston was also named the MVP of the ESPN RISE Elite 11 quarterback camp. Additionally, Winston earned the Gatorade Player of the Year recognition for the state of Alabama. He led Hueytown to a state championship during his junior year.
Winston committed to attend Florida State University on February 3, 2012. The Texas Rangers selected Winston in the 15th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft out of high school. Though the Rangers proposed allowing him to play for the Florida State Seminoles football team while working out with their baseball organization, Winston decided not to sign.
Prior to the 2013 season, Winston was named Florida State's starting quarterback. In his college debut, he completed 25 of 27 passes with four passing touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown in a 41–17 victory over the University of Pittsburgh.
For his successes in 2013, Winston earned numerous accolades. He was named the 2013 ACC Offensive Player of the Year and ACC Player of the Year to go along with winning the AP Player of the Year Award, Davey O'Brien Award, Manning Award, and Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. In addition, he was named as a Consensus All-American. Most notably, he won the Heisman Trophy on December 14, 2013, beating out quarterbacks AJ McCarron, Jordan Lynch, and Johnny Manziel, the previous winner, as well as running backs Tre Mason and Andre Williams. He became the second freshman to win the award, after Manziel won the previous year. He also became the youngest to win the award, at 19 years and 342 days.
On January 6, 2014, Winston's 20th birthday, Florida State defeated Auburn 34–31 in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. Winston was named the Offensive MVP of the game after passing for 235 yards with two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds left. Winston finished his freshman season with a conference-leading 4,057 passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns, which set an ACC record and a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision freshman record.
Winston started 13 games his redshirt sophomore season. He did not play in one game due to suspension. After a 13–0 regular season, the Seminoles were selected to play in the 2015 Rose Bowl, a semifinal game in the College Football Playoff, against Oregon. Oregon would win the game by a score of 59–20, giving Winston his only loss as a starter during his college career. Winston finished the season with a conference-leading 3,907 passing yards and 25 touchdowns. He finished in sixth place in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2014.
After the season, Winston decided to forgo the remaining two years of eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft. He finished his career 26–1 as a starter and completed 562 of 851 passes for 7,964 yards, 65 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions.
Awards and honors
- Heisman Trophy (2013)
- Walter Camp Award (2013)
- Manning Award (2013)
- Archie Griffin Award (2013)
- AP Player of the Year (2013)
- Sporting News Player of the Year (2013)
- BCS National Championship (2014)
- BCS National Championship Offensive MVP (2014)
- Orange Bowl champion (2013)
- Consensus All-American (2013)
- 2× First-team All-ACC (2013, 2014)
- ACC Player of the Year (2013)
- ACC Offensive Player of the Year (2013)
- ACC Rookie of the Year (2013)
- ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year (2013)
- ACC Athlete of the Year (2014)
- College Football Performance National Freshman of the Year (2013)
- ACC Championship Game MVP (2013)
- 3× ACC Championship (2012, 2013, 2014)
- USA Today High School All-American (2011)
Winston chose Florida State in part because he was allowed to play for the Florida State Seminoles baseball team in addition to football. A switch-hitting batter and a right-handed thrower, he played as an outfielder and a pitcher as a freshman in 2013. He batted .235 with a .723 on-base plus slugging in 119 at-bats and had a 3.00 earned run average in 27 innings pitched. Prior to the 2014 season, Winston was named a preseason All-American by Baseball America as a 3rd-team utility player.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||Wonderlic|
|6 ft 3 3⁄4 in
|9 3⁄8 in
|4.97 s||1.74 s||2.89 s||4.36 s||7.16 s||28 1⁄2 in
|8 ft 7 in
|All values from NFL Combine except the Wonderlic|
2015 season: Rookie year
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Winston first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. On May 1, 2015, Winston signed a four-year, $23.35 million contract with the Buccaneers, with a $16.7 million signing bonus. The contract prevents him from playing any other sport than football.
Winston played his first regular season game against the Tennessee Titans that featured fellow first rounder, Marcus Mariota. In the 42–14 loss, his first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Coty Sensabaugh. Winston's interception was the first time a rookie's first pass was returned for a pick-6 since Brett Favre in 1991.
Winston set franchise rookie records in pass attempts, pass completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. Winston finished his rookie season with 4,042 passing yards, finishing 23 yards short of the franchise record set by Josh Freeman in 2012. Winston also became the third rookie quarterback to pass over 4,000 yards in a season. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team for his 2015 season.
Following his team's loss in the AFC Championship game, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady elected not to participate in the 2016 Pro Bowl; as a result, Winston was selected to his first Pro Bowl game making him the first rookie quarterback in Buccaneers' history to be selected.
Winston's second season in the NFL began with an impressive performance against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, in which he completed over 70% of his throws and 4 touchdown passes in a 31–24 victory. He earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Falcons. Following Week 1, the Buccaneers began to struggle through injuries, inconsistent play, and offensive turnovers till mid-season, at which point the team was 3–5 and had experienced blow out losses to the Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, and Atlanta Falcons and a three-game losing streak. Following the loss to the Falcons, the Winston lead Buccaneers began playing efficient offense as well as exceptional defense and special teams play, resulting in the Buccaneers' first five-game winning streak since the Super Bowl winning 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season. The win streak gave the Buccaneers possession of the 6th seed in the NFC playoff race, which they quickly lost after back-to-back losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. Winston led the Buccaneers to their first winning season in six years after defeating the Carolina Panthers in the regular season finale, during which he broke the franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season and became the first quarterback in NFL history to start his career with consecutive seasons of 4,000 yards passing; however the Buccaneers were eliminated from playoff contention via a tie breaker with the Detroit Lions. He was ranked 57th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
During Week 6 against the Arizona Cardinals, Winston left the game with an apparent right shoulder injury. The next day, October 16, Winston suffered a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, but he stated that he could play through it. During Week 9's loss to the New Orleans Saints, Winston was taken out of the game with the same shoulder injury. Head coach Dirk Koetter announced the next day that he would miss at least two weeks to rest his shoulder. While on the sideline, Winston initiated an altercation with Saints rookie Marshon Lattimore, while being assisted by teammate Mike Evans, for which Winston was fined $12,154. In the game, Winston became the second-youngest player in NFL history to reach 10,000 career passing yards, four days older than record holder Drew Bledsoe. He missed the next three games due to injury and returned in Week 13. Overall, Winston and Buccaneers struggled to a 5–11 record. Winston finished the 2017 season with 3,504 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.
On April 17, 2018, the Buccaneers picked up the fifth-year option on Winston's contract. On June 21, the NFL announced that Winston would be suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy, regarding his latest incident where he allegedly groped a female Uber driver. On June 28, the announcement was made official, giving Winston a three game suspension to begin the 2018 season.
After missing the first three games due to the suspension, Winston returned in Week 4 against the Chicago Bears, but did not start. He replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick in the third quarter, finishing with 145 passing yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions as the Buccaneers lost 10–48. In Week 6, against the Atlanta Falcons, he had 395 passing yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions in the 34–29 loss. In Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Winston threw for 276 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions and he was benched in the third quarter for Fitzpatrick. In Week 11 against the New York Giants, starter Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions and was benched for Winston in the second half. Winston ended up throwing for 199 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception as the Buccaneers lost 38–35. Two weeks later, in a 24–17 win over the Carolina Panthers, Winston completed 20 of 30 passing attempts for 249 yards and two touchdowns, breaking the franchise record for passing touchdowns in a career with 81. Three weeks later, in a 27–20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Winston completed 34 of 48 passing attempts for 336 yards and one touchdown, breaking the franchise record for completions in a career previously held by Josh Freeman. Overall, he finished the 2018 season with 2,992 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions.
- Most passing touchdowns in a single game by a rookie quarterback: 5 (tied with Ray Buivid, Matthew Stafford, and Deshaun Watson)
- Most passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in one half: 4 (tied with Marcus Mariota and Deshaun Watson) (November 22, 2015 vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
- Youngest player to pass for 3,000 yards: (21 years, 342 days) December 13, 2015
- Youngest player to pass for 4,000 yards: (21 years, 363 days) January 3, 2016
- Second youngest player to pass for 10,000 yards: (23 years, 303 days; 4 days older than Drew Bledsoe) November 5, 2017
- Youngest player to pass for 40 touchdowns: (22 years, 312 days) November 13, 2016
- Most seasons of passing for 4,000 yards to begin a career – 2 (2015–2016)
- Most touchdown passes before 24th birthday: 69 (23 years, 360 days) December 31, 2017
Buccaneers franchise records
- Most passing touchdowns in a game – 5 (tied) (November 22, 2015 vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
- Most passing touchdowns by a rookie – 22
- Most passing yards by a rookie – 4,042
- Most rushing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in a season – 6
- Most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season – 6 (2015)
- Highest single-season completion percentage by a rookie (minimum 16 games) – 58.3
- Most passing touchdowns in a season – 28 (2016)
- Most passing yards in a season – 4,090 (2016)
- Most games of 300 yards passing in a single season – 6 (2017)
- Most games of 300 yards passing in a career – 14 (2015–present)
- Most consecutive seasons, 3,000 yards passing – 3 (2015–2017) (tied with Brad Johnson and Josh Freeman)
- Most seasons with 3,000+ passing yards – 3 (2015–present) (tied with Brad Johnson and Josh Freeman)
- Most consecutive seasons of 4,000 yards passing – 2 (2015–2016)
- Most seasons of 4,000 yards passing – 2 (2015–present)
- Most passing touchdowns in a career – 88 (2015–present)
- Most pass completions in a career – 1,183 (2015–present)
Sexual assault allegation
On November 14, 2013, the State Attorney of the Second Judicial Circuit announced they were opening an investigation into a sexual assault allegation involving Winston that was originally filed with the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) on December 7, 2012. The complaint was originally investigated by the police and classified as open/inactive in February 2013 with no charges being filed. The police report, containing the complainant's original statement, has been posted by the Tallahassee Police Department. Tallahassee police stated that the complaint was made inactive "when the victim in the case broke off contact with TPD, and her attorney indicated she did not want to move forward at that time" and then re-examined after media requests for information started coming in early November. On December 5, 2013, State Attorney Willie Meggs announced the completion of the investigation and that no charges would be filed against anyone in this case, citing "major issues" with the woman's testimony. Meggs stated that "As prosecutors, we only bring charges for cases where the evidence will result in a likely conviction at trial. In this case, the evidence does not show that." Allegations of improper police conduct have been made by both parties, with the complainant claiming to have been pressured into dropping her claim and Winston's attorney alleging inappropriate leaks to the media. Florida State's policy is that athletes charged with a felony cannot play until their case is resolved, but Winston continued to play throughout the investigation because he was never charged.
On April 16, 2014, The New York Times reported irregularities in the rape investigation involving Winston. The complainant developed bruises and semen was found on her underwear. 34 days later, the complainant identified Winston by name as her attacker. Tallahassee police contacted Winston about 13 days later. No DNA sample was taken from Winston until the prosecutor took over the case, months later; once it was taken in November 2013, it was found to match DNA found in the complainant's underwear. The investigation was conducted by Officer Scott Angulo, who, the Times' article notes, did private security work for the Seminole Boosters, the primary financier of Florida State athletics.
The official FSU hearing, presided over by retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Major B. Harding, on December 21, 2014, cleared Winston of violating the student conduct code in the sexual assault allegation. An extract from Harding's decision is below.
I do not find the credibility of one story substantially stronger than that of the other. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses. I cannot find with any confidence that the events as set forth by you, (accuser), or a particular combination thereof is more probable than not as required to find you responsible for a violation of the Code. Therein lies the determinative factor of my decision.
The accuser, Erica Kinsman (who has publicly identified herself), filed a civil suit against Winston in April 2014 and Winston countersued her for defamation and tortious interference in May 2014. In a September 2015 ruling, federal judge Anne C. Conway dismissed Winston's tortious interference claim, but declined a motion to dismiss his claim for defamation. Winston's and Kinsman's suits were settled out of court in December 2016, four months before the case was scheduled to go to trial.
In November 2015, Winston told CNN that he was prepared to file suit if the network airs The Hunting Ground, a documentary about college campus rape which includes disputed allegations about Winston. An edited version aired on CNN on November 22, 2015.
In 2016, the university paid $950,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by Kinsman alleging a violation of Title IX by FSU in handling her complaint. The university also agreed to conduct five years of sexual awareness programs. It did not admit liability.
In July 2013, a Burger King employee called police in July to complain that Winston was stealing soda. According to the police report, Winston came into the restaurant with three men, but did not order any food. An employee, who recognized him, first saw him using ketchup cups to take some soda. He asked for a water cup after she told him to stop, but he said he would use it for soda and filled it repeatedly with soda over her objections, the report said. On April 29, 2014, Winston was issued an adult civil citation for shoplifting crab legs from a Tallahassee Publix store. Winston was ordered to undergo 20 hours of community service, and was suspended from any college baseball activity until he completed his community service.
On September 17, 2014, Winston was suspended for the first half of Florida State's upcoming game against Clemson. The Guardian reported that "several students tweeted" that Winston shouted, "Fuck her right in the pussy!" an Internet meme, while standing atop a table in Florida State University's Student Union. Two days later, university president Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox, citing results of an "ongoing investigation", announced that Winston would be suspended for the whole game.
2017 groping allegation
On November 17, 2017, it was reported that the NFL conducted an investigation, where Winston allegedly groped a female Uber driver in 2016. Two days later, it was revealed that Ronald Darby, who also attended Florida State, was also on board during the ride in which this incident supposedly occurred. Darby has defended Winston against the allegations. However, the investigation found evidence that Winston got into another Uber ride alone, which was consistent with the Uber driver's account, and concluded that Winston "violated the Personal Conduct Policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent". The league announced on June 21 that it was planning to suspend Winston for the first three games of the 2018 season as a result of his involvement in the incident, which it carried through on June 28.
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- Official NFL statement on Winston's suspension
- Schefter, Adam (June 21, 2018). "Sources: Buccaneers' Jameis Winston faces suspension for first three games". ESPN.