Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first half of Florida State’s game this weekend against Clemson for shouting an obscene statement in the student union on campus.
This is just the latest off-field incident that has involved Winston and all of these headlines appear to be costing him millions in earning potential once he decides to go pro and enter the NFL draft.
Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN has released his latest “Big Board,” ranking the prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. In the latest incarnation, Winston is ranked 25th, a drop of 22 spots in just one week.
As recently as May, Winston was ranked as the top prospect for the 2015 draft.
A look at last year’s draft shows there is a huge difference in the size of the entry-level contract for a player drafted among the top three picks compared to a player drafted in the 20s. Just ask Johnny Manziel.
A drop from third to 25th represents a $US12.8 million drop in how much the player will earn in their first four years.
Kiper specifically blamed Winston’s off-field issues, noting that “off-field concerns have become too numerous and would cloud any decision to draft him right now.”
Adam Schefter had similar sentiments on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” He noted that the investigations by teams into Manziel prior to last year’s draft will “pale in comparison” to what teams will do with Winston and that Winston is no longer a lock to be a top pick in the draft.
“At the very least, he’s opened himself up to major questioning by NFL front offices, scouts, and investigative teams. At the very worst, he has knocked down his stock in the draft. I think at one point at this time last year, when you spoke to people, there were people who regarded him as a universal, top-5, slam dunk, no doubt selection. And I think when you speak to people now, everybody in the NFL would pause before they would be ready to make that declaration.”
The good news for Winston is that he has time to change the perception. But the questions are already there and teams are going to hesitate, especially in light of all the recent off-field issues plaguing the NFL.
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