If you think the Tampa Bay Bucs like Jameis Winston because they have the No. 1 overall pick in tonight’s NFL Draft — think again.
According to SB Nation’s Tomahawk Nation, the Bucs’ players were high on the former Florida State quarterback before last season. An article on the site quotes NFL.com’s Judy Battista as saying, “Bucs players were texting [Tampa Bay GM Jason] Licht last season” to bring in Winston.
“Last season, as in before the Bucs were finished with their NFL-worst 2-14 record, which sealed the Chase for Jameis.”
Now, that doesn’t mean the Bucs engineered their version of tanking, because they were just awful last season, but it does get you thinking that current players may not be upset that the 2014 season ended how it did.
Head Coach Lovie Smith seems to like him as well.
If the former Heisman Trophy winner pans out like many think he will, a two-win season will be more than worth it. Especially if Winston returns the Bucs to the days of Tony Dungy, Warren Sapp, and Derrick Brooks.
If this is true it doesn’t mean that Licht and the rest of the Bucs’ brass are going to automatically draft Winston, but all signs are pointing to it happening — and it seems the Bucs’ players will be ok with it.
The general consensus is that Winston will be a better pro than Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, who most likely will be taken second. It has the feel of Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf circa 1998 all over again.
Let’s just hope for Mariota’s sake, he takes a different path than Leaf.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports