Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston is seen on the sidelines during a game between the Bucs and Atlanta Falcons in November at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. [Times files (2017)]
Jameis Winston is seen on the sidelines during a game between the Bucs and Atlanta Falcons in November at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. [Times files (2017)]
Published June 21, 2018|Updated June 22, 2018

Trade him. Waive him. Cut him.


Just get rid of him.

Jameis Winston should never play another game for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

Plain and simple, he's a bad guy and the Bucs should have nothing more to do with him.

He already will miss the first three games of the regular season because of a suspension coming from the NFL after its investigation of an accusation that he grabbed the crotch of a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.

What he's accused of doing is disgusting and reprehensible.

RELATED: Three-game suspension looms for Bucs QB Jameis Winston

It's more than partying that got a little out of hand. We need to call it what it is: sexual assault. And this isn't the first time those awful two words have been associated with Winston.

Enough of this guy. Get him out of here. Let him be someone else's problem.

Maybe Winston needs to get counseling or some other kind of help. He should — for his sake and for all those who might come in contact with him from now on. Maybe there's still time for him to turn his life around.

But it should not be here in Tampa Bay. There's no way Winston should ever wear a Bucs uniform again.

RELATED: Timeline of investigations, allegations and suspensions involving Jameis Winston

This isn't a one-time mistake from a guy with an otherwise exemplary reputation. This is just the latest in a series of bad decisions that have shown his complete inability to act within the norms of acceptable behavior.

The junk he does is simply not okay.

Also unacceptable, though not nearly as bad, are all the excuses that some members of the Bucs organization, some fans and other enablers make every time Winston messes up. Maybe it's why Winston feels so entitled to act however he darn well pleases. Maybe that's why this stuff keeps happening over and over and over again.

Allegations of rape at Florida State? Let's blame and shame the woman.

Stealing crab legs at Publix? All football players get free stuff.

Shooting a BB gun in an apartment complex and causing thousands of dollars of damage? Big deal, that's just boys being boys.

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Standing on a table in the middle of a college campus and saying vulgar stuff? Hey, he's just a kid.

Telling little girls to be silent? Oh, the click-bait media is making up fake news, and besides, that's not what he meant though that's exactly what he said.

And now this. Certainly those who have always defended Winston will do so again, probably by blaming the accuser.

Stop making excuses for this guy. He is a grown man. He is 24 years old. He is about to be a father. Someone needs to hold him accountable. The Bucs can start that by telling Winston to pack his gear and get out.

The Bucs should send a message to the community that they do not accept, condone or tolerate this kind of conduct — not from anybody but especially not from the starting quarterback and the face of the franchise. They should say that who they are and what they stand for as an organization mean more than winning football games at any cost, including at the cost of the franchise's integrity.

But I'm guessing that won't happen. Winston will be back by the fourth or fifth game. He will flash that smile (again) and say all the right things (again) and all will be forgotten (again) and forgiven (again). He'll get a standing ovation when he returns, I bet.

That forgiveness surely will start with the Bucs. After all, this franchise ignored all the warning signs before drafting Winston first overall in 2015. Last year on the HBO documentary series Hard Knocks, general manager Jason Licht was taped saying, "He's the best leader I think I've ever been around. In anything. He inspires me."

That should tell you all you need to know about how the Bucs and Licht feel about Winston.

Well, the Bucs are now getting exactly what they deserve. All this hassle. All this embarrassment. All this criticism. They should not be surprised by any of this.

Winston did bad things before he got here, and he has continued to do bad things after his arrival.

So anything that happens from now on is on the Glazers. It's their team. And it's especially on Licht. He's the guy most responsible for Winston being in Tampa.

They, too, will say how they take all this seriously and how Winston needs to shape up or else. They will say they really mean it this time. Then Winston's suspension will end, and all their faux concern and threats will vanish because that's how the Bucs always have operated when it comes to Winston.

But that's no way to solve this perpetual problem.

The best way? The only way?

Get rid of him.