Jameis Winston is a professional American footballer who recently joined the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He set an impressive record while in high school and college, bagging a lot of achievements, including winning the Heisman Trophy. He also led his high school team to the National Championship Game in 2014.
But the exploits in his amateur years that led him to the NFL hasn’t been fully replicated at the professional level. From off-field controversies to poor performances that seem bent on denting his potential legacy, we took a look at the high points of Jameis Winston’s career, starting with his journey as a high school student at Hueytown High.
Winston Built a National Reputation In High School
As they say, legends give birth to their kinds. Jameis Winston was born into an athletic home on January 6, 1996, in Alabama. His father Antonor Winston, during his heyday, was noted for his athletic abilities – he lettered in three sports and also played as a cornerback for Michigan State. His mom, Loretta Winston, was also noted for her speed as a sprinter. Records have it that she beat Vonetta Flowers to her game in one of her races. The quarterback’s younger brother Jonah is equally athletic; he is skilled in the game of football, basketball, and baseball.
With this kind of background, Jameis Winston never had issues in aligning his career path as a footballer. His parents have stood by him and have been his number one fan right from the earliest days of his career.
Jameis was a scholar at Hueytown High school and was active in the game of football and baseball. While his stint lasted, he was incredible at his games, setting excellent records and bagging a lot of awards. He was rated as the best dual quarterback threat in the nation during his time by Rivals.com. He was also the Gatorade Player of the Year and the best overall quarterback recruit as rated by ESPN.
After high school, he moved to Florida State University in 2012. That same year, following an impressive high school baseball career, Major League Baseball team, Texas Rangers, offered him a deal. However, he turned down the deal in favor of football.
The Excellence of His Two Seasons of College Football
As a true freshman, he was redshirted but began playing as the team’s starting quarterback the following season. His debut with the team was in a game against the University of Pittsburgh. He finished the game with a rushing touchdown, four passing touchdowns, and also completed 25 of 27 passes.
In 2013, his impressive records earned him a lot of recognition, including the ACC player of the Year, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Walter Camp Player of the Year, Manning Award, Davey O’Brien Award, amongst others. That same year, he won the Heisman Trophy, becoming the youngest at 19 years old and the second freshman to bag the award. His last days in the school team was in 2014; he totaled 25 touchdowns and 3,907 passing yards at the end of the season.
At the end of his college career, Jameis Winston had an impressive record of 562 completed passes with a success rate of 66%. He also had 65 passing touchdowns and seven rushing TDs, all within two seasons of college football.
Jameis Winston’s NFL Career Began on a Good Note
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston as the number one pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He inked a four-year deal worth $23.35 million with the team. The pact handed him $16.7 million out of it as a signing bonus. His first appearance for the team was a game against the Tennessee Titans, which the Buccaneers lost.
Despite the poor start to his pro career, Jameis went on to have a stellar season. He finished the season with 4,042 passing yards, becoming the third rookie QB ever to pass over 4000 yards in a season. He set other rookie records like pass completions, pass attempts, and passing touchdowns.
His performances also earned him a place in the 2016 Pro Bowl, making him the first rookie in Buccaneers’ history to do so. His rookie season performance set high hopes for his sophomore season, and Winston mostly did not disappoint.
He led the Buccaneers on a five-game winning streak and broke another set of records for the franchise. He set records for passing yards and touchdowns in a season. Winston also became the first quarterback in NFL history to start his career with two consecutive seasons of 4,000+ passing yards. He had recorded 4090 passing yards. His performances earned him the #57 position among the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
However, in his third season, having established himself as a fan-favorite, the downsides of Jameis Winston’s personality began to manifest. While he continued his on-field exploits, he started making negative headlines off-field. In 2017, he got into an altercation with a Saints rookie, and he spent several parts of the season injured.
Bad Performances and a New Start at New Orleans Saints
The off-field controversies continued in 2018. Jameis Winston was suspended for three games by the league after an investigation revealed he allegedly groped a female Uber driver. But even more disturbing for the Buccaneers, was the decline in the quality of his performances. Having completed more than 4,000 passing yards in his first two seasons, he recorded lesser passing yards and touchdowns in 2017 and 2018, with an increasing number of interceptions.
Things came to a head in 2019, when he managed to record 5,000 yards in a season, becoming the first Buccaneers quarterback to do so. He had 33 passing yards but also recorded 30 interceptions, the highest in the league.
In five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Winston had 88 interceptions in 72 games, a bad record for a pro quarterback. As a result, the franchise opted to release him at the end of his contract in the 2019 season.
Although he hasn’t had a chance to show he still possesses the quality that made him the number one pick in the 2015 Draft, the New Orleans Saints signed Winston to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million. The deal, if Jameis meets the added incentives, could fetch him up to $3.4 million and reignite his career as a leading NFL quarterback.
Earnings and Highlights of His Pro Career
He has set a lot of records, and he has made a lot of money. According to Sportrac, in his short career in the NFL, Jameis has had $46.1 million so far in earnings. The bulk of it came from his rookie contract, worth $25.3 million. He got more than $16.7 million of it in signing bonus, and an additional $7 million in roster bonuses.
In 2018 when Tampa Bay had hopes in his abilities, they extended his contract by a year, in a deal worth an additional $20.9 million. His New Orleans Saints contract fetched him $148,000 in signing bonus and will earn him $925,000 in salary.
Beyond his financial achievements, Jameis Winston has several accolades to his name. He has 11 NFL records to his name, and 15 Rookie records for the Buccaneers. Some of his record performances have earned him awards like NFL Passing Yards Leader, PFWA All-Rookie Team, and Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.
Jameis Winston Is a Married Man
Jameis Winston, for all of the mixed bag of success in his professional life, has a stable and prosperous love life. He is a married man, to a woman he has been dating since he was a teenager.
Breion and Jameis started their relationship since their days in high school. Yeah, they have been together even before he gained fame. Beyond the unwavering love and commitment to each other, they took things to the next level when they welcomed a child named Antonor Malachi, in July 2018.
About two years after, things went up another notch. They got married in an ultra-private ceremony during the Covid-19 crisis on March 27, 2020, in their Odessa, Florida home.
Also deprived of a luxurious honeymoon in a choice destination, Jameis and Breion have been taking to exercises like yoga to pass the time as a newly married couple.
Jameis had proposed to Breon shortly before the birth of their child in May 2018. The couple originally planned an elaborate wedding with family and friends, and still intend to have one when the health crisis is over.
The proposal happened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, back when humanity was free from the threat of the coronavirus. Coincidentally, on the same day, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married.
His Wife Is a Fashion Entrepreneur
Jameis Winston, like most public personalities, is not the type to share details of his personal life with the media. But we have learned a few details about his wife.
Breion Allen is an entrepreneur, specifically a fashion entrepreneur. She owns a clothing line, HERRway, focused on catering to athletic and curvy women.
Before she became an entrepreneur, Breion was a college athlete at Rice University. She played on the women’s basketball team, between 2012 and 2015. She was named to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll in all three of her seasons with the Rice Owls. Before college, she attended Hoover High School in Alabama and was a three-year letter-winner and two-year starter.