Well, that didn’t take long.
Jameis Winston has already created a mini-controversy, posting an Instagram photo of himself celebrating draft night with a giant plate of crab legs. Winston, of course, was cited for shoplifted $32.72 worth of seafood from a Tallahassee Publix in April 2014.
“Well, some of the fans said, ‘What’s the big deal?’ They don’t care. Others said, ‘Hey, wait a second. This is not a good first impression,’” FOX Sports 1 Bucs insider Jenna Laine said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “But from Winston’s account, he said that he took it down. He wasn’t trying to do anything malicious with it. His friend from Deadliest Catch had given him these crab legs – him and his family – and it was merely his way of saying thank you for giving them (Thursday) night’s gift. Unfortunately, some people, as you can see, took it a certain way. And I admit, I kind of said, ‘That’s not a good look there,’ either. So he took it down. He didn’t realize it was going to create as much publicity. But you know what? When you’re the face of a franchise, you always need to err on the side of caution with social media.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Bucs player showed arguably poor judgment on Twitter or Instagram. Last November, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins posted a photo to Instagram in which he’s celebrating a touchdown by posing like Captain Morgan. That celebration cost the Bucs a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the field.
“The Bucs were not a fan of that, so they asked him to remove it,” Laine said. “But (general manager) Jason Licht is denying that the Bucs actually asked (Winston) to do that. Now, someone could have asked him to do that without his knowledge. We don’t know. But as of right now, you’re kind of hearing this back and forth just a little bit.”
Either way, the Bucs probably wanted Winston to get through his first few days as a professional without drawing any negative attention or doing anything remotely controversial. In fact, this is probably why Tampa Bay didn’t show its hand until Thursday night.
“It was brought to my attention very early on – and I talked to a number of people – but they were concerned about (his past) and they did take it seriously,” Laine said. “I mean, this lawsuit, this civil suit that was just filed – it was filed right here in Hillsborough County, and so because of that, you have to take it seriously. I talked to a number of people in the organization even (Thursday) night. They’re fathers. They’re husbands. They have daughters. They understand that. They reconfirmed to me that they took it very, very seriously, this whole investigation process.
“And that was also one of the reasons why they wanted to wait until the very end,” Lane continued. “They didn’t just proclaim him as the first overall pick weeks in advance or days in advance. They wanted to let the whole process play out, do their due diligence. Obviously you never know if there’s going to be a trade offer that’s just too good to pass up. But they really just wanted to let the entire process play out and leave possibly some wiggle room for what happens if all of a sudden he does make a poor decision. Between what’s going on with La’el Collins, Shane Ray – you never know, even in the days leading up to the draft.”