Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.
Jeff Cameron, a host on ESPN Tallahassee 97.9 FM, said Wednesday he wasn't sure of the exact number of games Winston may be suspended but indicated it would be for a violation of the personal conduct policy.
"The Winston camp is prepared for the NFL to levy a suspension of some kind," Cameron said. "The thought from the Winston camp is that would be a maximum of three games. I do not know at this time whether or not they plan to appeal, and I do not know that three games is an accurate number. I've been told that would seem to be the maximum number of games that the suspension could be. It's also likely that it's less than that and it's one game."
If Winston were to be suspended for the first three games, it could be crippling. The Bucs open at New Orleans Sept. 9, host the Super Bowl champion Eagles Sept. 16 and play the Steelers on Monday Night Football at Raymond James Stadium Sept. 24.
Cameron said the reason why Winston will be suspended may not be for being found guilty of the accusation itself but for "failure to report," the alleged incident.
"And that's frustrating," Cameron said. "That's a league obviously attempting, and understandably because they've made previous missteps, transgressions, they're now apt to protect themselves to the nth degree and protect the shield and so on and so forth."
Winston became aware of the accusation when Uber contacted him to inform him that his account was being suspended following a complaint that he or somebody in the car acted inappropriately. There was never a criminal complaint or civil action, so it's unlikely the suspension would result from his failure to report.
The Bucs have declined to comment on a pending investigation by the NFL. Winston has only said he respects the process and has not commented further since denying the allegations in November.