Jameis Winston may very well be the first name called by Roger Goodell at the NFL draft next month, but it looks like the former Florida State star will not be on hand to smile and pose for photos with the commissioner that night in Chicago.
Winston has decided to forego tradition and not attend the nationally televised event on April 30, Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported Monday morning.
David Cornwell, who has served as Winston's lawyer, confirmed the report via Twitter: "Family n friends have been so supportive, JW wants to be with them and share the excitement of the #NFLDraft. #family."
If Winston goes through with the plan and if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (or another team that trades up) go with the former Heisman Trophy winner with the top pick, it will be the first of Goodell's nine drafts as commissioner that he will not have congratulated the No. 1 player in person.
But it's not like Winston and Goodell haven't met. The two men got together a couple weeks ago upon Winston's request, to discuss the quarterback's troubled past and other topics, according to another report by King.
So what does any of this mean? Maybe Winston is just trying to keep a low profile. Maybe it was Goodell's idea. Maybe there's fear of an ugly scene if there are some haters on hand. Maybe the NFL is worried about how Winston might behave in front of a national audience.
Or maybe, just maybe, Winston really does want to spend what could be a special day with his family and friends. Who knows?