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Jameis Winston: Character Jeopardizing Future?

by Christopher Smith
Apr 30, 2014 12:40 PM EDT



We all followed the post-Heisman saga of Johnny Manz... excuse me, Johnny Football, last offseason. But other than a pre-Heisman season brush with the law and the autograph scandal, most of his missteps involved immaturity, though not of the criminal kind.

Meanwhile, Jameis Winston just had his fourth brush with the law after he was cited for shoplifting crab legs at Publix. Winston will pay a fine, complete community service and avoid anything on his record for the incident. Police also got involved with Winston due to an alleged BB gun fight and when he allegedly stole from a Burger King, though he still has a clean criminal record.

The sexual assault allegations against him proved not to have any criminal merit to the point that there was never a trial, but some of the sordid details that emerged during the investigation painted Winston in a horrible light.

We've seen this kind of thing before from a talented, entitled, athletic quarterback. Vince Young, for example. VY's overarching character issues prevented him from ever developing the skill necessary to compete at the NFL level. Cam Newton, on the other hand, developed into a good NFL quarterback after overcoming some college issues. Johnny Manziel has at least put himself in position to be a first-round pick.

Winston won a national championship and a Heisman as a freshman and has a bright athletic future. But I wonder if getting away with all these incidents unscathed may ultimately be a bad thing for him and his future. What do you think? Does Winston deserve a "character issues" red flag yet? Or are these issues aside from the dismissed sexual assault allegations merely minor?

This photo is obviously photoshopped, but pretty funny.