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NFL officially suspends Bucs Jameis Winston for three games

Florida Football Insiders

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

What has been rumored for weeks is now official- Bucs QB Jameis Winston is suspended by the NFL for the first three games of the upcoming season. This after the NFL officially notified Winston of their findings.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network had the news first:

From NFL.com , the league not only informed Winston of their findings, but had a stern warning for Winston that could result in further punishment.

“In its decision, the league “concluded that Winston violated the personal conduct policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent and that disciplinary action was necessary and appropriate.” As part of of his discipline, Winston is required to obtain a clinical evaluation and fully cooperate in any recommended program of therapeutic intervention.

“A failure either to obtain the evaluation or to cooperate with treatment will result in further discipline,” the league said in a statement. “In addition, a future violation of the personal conduct policy will result in more substantial discipline, including a potential ban from the NFL.””

Winston released a statement later on Thursday afternoon in which he took full responsibility for having inappropriately touched a female Uber driver in Arizona in March of 2016.

“The NFL informed me today that I will be suspended for the first three games of the season.

First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize. In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.

I know I have to hold myself to a higher standard on and off the field and that I have a responsibility to my family, community, and teammates to live above the platform with which God has blessed me. I apologize to my teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans for letting them down and for not being able to be out there for the first three games of the season. Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.

I now look forward to putting this behind me and I will continue to work hard every day to be a positive influence in my community and be the best person, teammate and leader I can be.”

After having denied for eight months that he wasn’t even in the front seat with the Uber driver two and half years ago, Winston taking full responsibility and deciding not to contest the suspension is an interesting twist to the story. Obviously, the NFL threatening a longer suspension, if he doesn’t submit to psychological evaluation and therapy has something to do with that.

The Buccaneers put out a short statement after the official word of the suspension Thursday afternoon:

Winston will be able to participate in Bucs training camp and their preseason games, but his suspension will begin with the Buccaneers week one at the Saints. He will also miss the next two games at home with the Eagles and the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

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