Off-Field Issues Aside, Jameis Winston Is ‘Future’ of NFL, Michael Vick Says

Michael Vick has been where Florida State’s Jameis Winston is: A star college football quarterback with bright prospects for an NFL career.

Winston has had more than his share of off-field issues, but Vick, the New York Jets’ backup quarterback, still sees something huge for Winston.

“I think he’s the future of the NFL,” Vick said of last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, according to

Quite a statement from a veteran QB who understands how difficult it is to play the position. It’s also significant that Vick said he believes Winston’s myriad off-the-field issues that range from serious to silly should not impair his success in the NFL. He said it’s a matter of Winston, 20, growing up.

“I think he, over time, has made some poor decisions,” Vick said of Winston. “Have I been there to know exactly what happened? No.

“But I do know one thing: He may make some poor decisions, but he gets on that football field and he plays his ass off. Yeah, he can mature. He’ll mature. I see him maturing as time goes on. Like, this year hasn’t been as bad of a year as the first year was for Jameis. I think the kid will continue to improve.”

Winston was cleared of a sexual assault charge, the most serious of his off-the-field-troubles, and also had a case of stealing crab legs from a Tallahassee grocery story and participating in a college prank where he yelled an obscenity on campus. But his play for the undefeated Seminoles, who are one of four teams in the first-ever college football playoffs, has been stellar.

“I’ve been around so long, I appreciate guys coming out of college,” Vick, 34, said. “I look forward to watching him. I have high expectations for him.”


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