Former Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston requested and received a meeting last week with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other top league officials in New York City, according to a report Wednesday. Winston, the presumptive first overall pick in April’s 2015 NFL Draft, purportedly asked for information on how to adjust to life in the league after a college career marked by off-field issues.
Winston “spent five to six” hours meeting with Goodell, Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president of football operations, and other unnamed league executives, according to Sports Illustrated’s TheMMQB.com. The 21-year-old player asked to meet Goodell in January, right after he declared for the draft. He spent at least part of the meeting giving his side on various incidents that occurred during his time for Florida State, including a sexual assault accusation and a citation last May for shoplifting crab legs from a Tallahassee supermarket.
“He went out of his way to make a good impression, and to show that he understood what was going to be expected of him in the NFL,” an NFL executive who met with Winston told TheMMQB.com.
The exact details of what Winston and Goodell discussed remain unclear. However, Winston deleted his Twitter account shortly after the meeting, ESPN reports.
A Heisman Trophy winner and two-time All-ACC selection, Winston is considered by most draft experts to be this year’s top collegiate prospect. He solidified that distinction with a strong performance and interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who own this year’s first overall pick, held a predraft meeting with Winston on March 3, according to ESPN.
“The kid is great on the [grease] board, and he can sling the hell out of the ball,” one NFL general manager told NFL.com. “I don’t see how they can not take him [first overall].”
But character concerns are a major factor in the wake of the NFL’s domestic violence scandals and are considered a potential detriment to Winston’s draft stock. An FSU classmate accused Winston of sexual assault in 2012, though prosecutors later declined to pursue charges against him. Florida State also suspended Winston after he used improper language in the university cafeteria.