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Bucs general manager: Jameis Winston not a bad person

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are comfortable with Jameis Winston's off-field character. That's the message Jason Licht gave Rick Stroud on 620 WDAE this morning.

"We've said that we feel comfortable. He's been a lot of fun to be around. Since 2012 he's grown up significantly, since this past season he's grown up significantly. I would lean to immature, I don't think he's a bad person. But I'm not giving away our hand who we're taking, but he's been somebody we've really gotten to know and we have been more and more comfortable every time we've been around him."

That's been the message the Bucs have been sending for months now. Licht said the same thing last month, and in a report from the Tampa Bay Times, Lovie Smith indicated that they were comfortable with his off-field behavior as well. Immaturity is far from ideal in a franchise quarterback, of course, but it seems Tampa Bay views those issues as in the past, and not a concern for the future.

Of course, the biggest question mark really isn't the relatively minor stuff that's billed as immaturity. The biggest question mark for most people is the fact that he was accused of rape, though he was never criminally charged, for which he now faces a civil suit. But a report in the Tampa Bay Times indicated that the Bucs "presume" he's innocent, which means they, at least, don't view it as a problem -- in spite of reports that there's some dissent within the organization.

Which just goes back to the point everyone in the local media has been making for weeks: Jameis Winston will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' new quarterback.