Kellen Winslow Jr. dropped the bomb today on Sirius XM radio, stating coach Greg Schiano informed him the team will be seeking to trade him. This becomes the latest example of Schiano’s no nonsense attitude and approach to football. Either be committed or go home. The move likely comes as a result of Winslow’s lack of participation during voluntary workouts which were anything but. With Winslow letting the cat out of the bag, many obstacles still remain. Winslow still has $13.3 million left on his contract and many teams are likely to balk at spending that amount of money. If the Bucs are unable to find any value for Winslow, the team has no choice but to release him after trying to send a message.
By all accounts, Greg Schiano’s approach to football is one much needed in order to get this team back on track. His focus on Bucs players learning a new dedication to the game is one which will pay dividends and show on the field. Though his approach has been well received, like anything else there will be drawbacks.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Buccaneers are close to signing Dallas Clark, a tight end considered to be further in the twilight of his career than Winslow. In fairness, Greg Schiano wanted to give Winslow a chance instead of making decisions based on the past. It was the ethical and right move, but costly. Instead of trying to move him before notification, his knowledge gives suitors the heads up on his situation which could lead to teams waiting it out until he gets released. Just as with Tanard Jackson, there had to be an inclination this would be the end result. It would explain why the Bucs took Drake Dunsmore in the draft. By doing the honorable thing, the team did cost themselves value.
Another looming issue will be that of Dezmon Briscoe. After missing the first set of voluntary workouts, Briscoe returned last week and joined his team. How will it look if the team parts ways with Jackson and Winslow but allows Briscoe to skate by unscathed as he dealt with “baby mamma” issues publicly. Though the event does truly count as a family problem and comes first, missing out due to a spat between women in a public venue surely isn’t the best way of handling things. The result is a perception among the fans and media which paints the individual as uncommitted. It stands to rationalize Briscoe isn’t the first guy to have a spat with his wife, yet how many of them still showed up for work? Schiano has done well at setting the tone and laying out his expectations. If concerns arise over the handling of Winslow and comparison to Briscoe, Schiano will have to address the situation. If one strike is one too many, the result should be the same across the board.
In the end, the NFL is a business which relies on the bottom line. Schiano and his ways are great for football, but there will only be so far he can go before the front office puts business before the game. For now, they seem committed to his vision and are willing to back him up regardless of the cost.