Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer calls Jameis Winston a ‘first-class individual,’ and believes NFL will clear him

LOREN ELLIOTT   |   TimesTampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) was called a first-class individual by the Bucs owner Tuesday
LOREN ELLIOTT | TimesTampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) was called a first-class individual by the Bucs owner Tuesday
Published March 27 2018
Updated March 27 2018

On a day when his head coach and general manager expressed disappointment over the slow pace of the NFL's nearly six month investigation of their starting quarterback, Bucs co-chairman Joel Glazer said he believes Jameis Winston has done nothing wrong.

"Yeah, Jameis has been nothing but a great person since he's been with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," Glazer told the Times at the NFL owner's meeting in Orlando Tuesday. "And he's done everything we've asked of him. He's been a great leader. He's been unbelievable in the community and we have great confidence in Jameis. So we focus on the great things Jameis has done."

The league's probe began in November when an anonymous female Uber driver accused Winston of groping her at the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona in March of 2016.

Winston has denied the allegations and Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby, his former Florida State teammate, said he was in the back seat with Winston that night and nothing occurred.

But it's not the first time Winston has been accused of sexual assault. Although two criminal investigations cleared him of any wrong-doing in a case brought in 2012, he settled a civil lawsuit with Erica Kinsman of Zephyrhills in 2016.

Glazer was  asked Tuesday why he believed those types of allegations have been directed at Winston.

"I can't get into what other people say and speculate and all that," Glazer said. "I can only speak to the person that I know, the person I have known. And the person everyone I know knows. That's what I'll speak to, and that's a first-class individual, hard-working, wonderful in the community, a leader and everything that we would've hoped for in our quarterback.''

Both head coach Dirk Koetter and general manager Jason Licht said Tuesday they were "frustrated,' by the slow pace of the NFL's investigation.

"You know, the NFL, they do things at their own pace," Glazer said of the NFL. "They've got their own processes they follow. And we let them do it. Clearly, everyone would like for this to be resolved once and for all. Quicker. But I have great confidence they will get this resolved and finish up what they've got to finish and then we can move forward.

Winston, 24, was the No. 1 overall draft pick of the Bucs in 2015. After leading his team to 6-10 and 9-7 records, he suffered a shoulder injury that forced him to miss three games last season and the Bucs finished 5-11.

"Again, I think if you look at last season, it's the tale of two seasons with Jameis," Glazer said. "He's playing hurt, and you know, when you're a quarterback and your throwing shoulder is not right, that has an effect. But we're very, very pleased with Jameis. Pleased with his progress. He's the quarterback so he's always going to get the most scrutiny, but it's a team game. He needs some help and you've got to get the right pieces around him. You've got to have time to throw the ball and that affects a lot of things. We're trying to address other areas of the team and we have great confidence in Jameis Winston."

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