It's almost old news at this point, but it just became official today: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first three games of the 2018 season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick will quarterback the Bucs against the Saints, Eagles, and Steelers -- three teams that won their respective divisions in 2017.
Winston has been suspended for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after he was accused of groping a female Uber driver in March of 2016. Winston's story, along with that of other witnesses, has changed has changed over the course of the investigation. Here's what we know: Winston was at an Arizona nightclub with former Florida State teammate Ronald Darby, a witness in the incident that led to Winston's sexual assault accusations in college. Also with them was Brandon Banks, a former Vanderbilt football player who at the time was facing charges for a 2013 gang rape at the school. (Banks has since been convicted on those charges and is now serving a 15-year prison sentence.) Winston and Darby claimed that all three of them got into one car; Banks and Winston's accuser claim that two cars were called, and Winston was the only passenger in his vehicle. It has also been reported that all three got into one car, but Banks and Darby were dropped off first, leaving Winston as the sole passenger. The driver says Winston grabbed her crotch while waiting in a drive-through at a Mexican restaurant.
In a written statement, Winston apologized to the Uber driver "for the position I put you in" and claimed he had matured since the incident, eliminating alcohol from his life. Winston is not facing criminal or civil charges in the case, but he will lose about $124,000 in base salary due to the suspension. It also remains to be seen how this will affect his contract negotiations with Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers' have picked up his fifth-year option, guaranteeing him more than $20 million in 2019. (This is one of the reasons Winston is not fighting the suspension -- he would risk losing a lot more money if the case dragged out into next year.) His status in 2020 and beyond is unresolved.