For those who were hoping to see Jameis Winston attend MLB spring training, a la Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, don’t get your hopes up.
According to Kevin Patra of NFL.com, Winston’s contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers contains a clause that will prevent him from playing baseball, killing his dream of being a two-sport star. Tampa Bay drafted Winston with the first overall pick in last week’s NFL Draft.
It’s certainly something of a blow for Winston’s die-hard fans, as he was a relief pitcher for the Florida State Seminoles baseball team on top of being a Heisman Trophy and BCS National Championship-winning quarterback.
Just the same, it’s easy to see why the Bucs would have the contract contain such a clause.
Winston is expected to be the team’s quarterback of the future, and he can’t be that if he’s under contract with a baseball team that will expect him to participate in a season that can run well into football season.
Sure, it may have worked some time ago for former Kansas City Royals outfielder and then-Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson, but his promising career was cut dreadfully short by a hip injury and left people wondering what could have been if he had just focused on one sport.
Granted, Winston plays different positions than Jackson did, but suppose he were still allowed to play baseball and shredded his rotator cuff or an elbow ligament while pitching for a major league team?
That could put his NFL career in serious jeopardy, so this is really just a smart move on Tampa Bay’s end as Winston is an investment that needs to be protected.
Winston could play baseball someday, but one thing is certain. It won’t be while he’s in a Tampa Bay uniform.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Kim Klements — USA TODAY Sports