It didn’t take long for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to ink a deal with their all but coronated future franchise quarterback Jameis Winston. It’s not particularly surprising considering the fact that a potential contract may have already been decided on well before the moment Winston was officially drafted.
According to Spotrac, Winston’s deal is fully guaranteed and worth $25.34 million. He’ll have a perfectly manageable cap hit this season of $4.6 million, but perhaps the most notable thing about the contract is the specific clause the Lovie-Licht Connection made sure to include.
Per Peter King of Sports Illustrated, the contract contains a clause prohibiting Winston from playing professional baseball during the length of the deal. Winston’s love of baseball, and college experience, isn’t news to many. What makes this so intriguing from the stance of the Buccaneers goes all the way back to the 1986 NFL Draft.
While 1987 is often remembered as the year that the Buccaneers took Vinny Testaverde (to mixed results), the draft one year prior is likely one many team executives from that time wish they could forget.
With the number one overall pick in the 1986 draft, Tampa Bay selected Bo Jackson. Yes, that Bo Jackson. Arguably one of the best pure athletes in the history of professional sports Bo Jackson. Unfortunately, Bo never played a day in the
pewter and red creamsicle orange.
A misunderstanding about a visit while Jackson was still in college severely affected his eligibility to continue playing. When the possibility came of being picked by the Bucs, Bo Jackson was firm that he wouldn’t play if selected. Tampa Bay thought he was bluffing and selected him anyways.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Royals selected Jackson in the fourth round of the MLB draft. Bo Jackson took his talents to baseball for the year, and only after the Buccaneers forfeited his rights further down the road did he get pulled back in by Al Davis and the Los Angeles Raiders.
While there was little chance of Jameis Winston doing anything similar to this, Tampa Bay’s choice to include the clause prevents anything similar to the “Bo Jackson Incident” from happening. Winston has been clear that his dream is to play baseball as well, but it won’t be any time soon. Right now, Jameis Winston is the sole property of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and one can only hope that will ring true for many years to come.