Mark Dominik has heard the conversation.
Now that the NFL has suspended Jameis Winston for three games for violating its personal conduct policy, some pundits have said, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are poised to cut their franchise quarterback.
‘This is all coming down at the worst time, because there’s not much to talk about in the entire National Football League except Jameis Winston’
Don’t believe that for a second, according to the former Buccaneers general manager.
“They’re not going to cut Jameis. That talk needs to stop,” Dominik said while co-hosting the SiriusXM Blitz with Alex Marvez. “That’s not going to happen, because they have too much invested in him this year to see what he can become. And, yeah, has it been an embarrassment to the organization? Sure. Sadly, this is all coming down — and he did this to himself — but this is all coming down at the worst time, because there’s not much to talk about in the entire National Football League except Jameis Winston. So you can’t even bury this in Tampa.
‘It’s been an embarrassment that everybody’s kind of known about’
“This is something you’re going to have to deal with, so it’s been an embarrassment but it’s been an embarrassment that everybody’s kind of known about. Now the suspension’s kind of the black eye of his doings, but I think, from an organizational standpoint, you’re talking about the No. 1 (overall) pick, a player that has played well and has turned the ball over way too much. And I think that’s his biggest weakness, is that he tries to force too many throws and doesn’t … understand it’s OK to punt.”
So how do the Buccaneers proceed in the wake of the league’s punishment of Winston after he was accused of inappropriately touching a female Uber driver?
‘Obviously, if something else happens, that changes everything’
“I think they, as an organization, would sit there and say, ‘Let’s play this year out,'” Dominik said. “Obviously, if something else happens, that changes everything, but at this point, the punishment’s there and they’re moving forward. But I don’t think there’s any way you cut Jameis over this situation, because I think you’re seeing the punishment but you’ve already heard the crimes.
“So they’re staring now at a player that not only is going to miss three games, but has a fifth-year option coming up at just under $21 million. Right now, it’s guaranteed for injury. You don’t have to worry about that until the season goes through, but it’s more short and long term, how this plays out for Jameis.”
‘Certainly, there were red flags’
Dominik said he was “not fully surprised” that Winston wound up in this situation.
“Obviously, there’s a lot more to the Uber incident than I think we all heard,” Dominik said. “Clearly, that would have been something that if (the NFL) felt (he was) not guilty about, I think this would have been a little bit of different punishment or (none) at all. Certainly, there were the red flags. I think that’s why a lot of people were wondering, is it the right pick?
‘I was taking Marcus Mariota, because I was uncomfortable with what I’d heard about Jameis’
“I’ve spent time with Jameis. I’ve known him now (a) decent (amount). I’ve had three conversations with him, so I know him well enough to feel comfortable talking about him. I would go back to what I said around the draft on ESPN, on here is that I was taking Marcus Mariota, because I didn’t know and I was uncomfortable with what I’d heard about Jameis in terms of the choices he’d made in the college ranks. That’s come back to haunt him and haunt the organization in a tremendous way, because this is as frustrating as a situation can be for (GM) Jason Licht, for (coach) Dirk Koetter and the Glazer family.”
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