The Tampa Bay Buccaneers take domestic violence very seriously, but they're not actually going to pass on players because of it, or so we can infer from co-chair Bryan Glazer's comments, as recorded by Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
"I'm not going to answer that case specifically, but I'll talk in more general terms about any player we've drafted in the last 20 years. We do the best due diligence we can about anybody. We look into their background, talk to as many people as possible. That's what every team does. We take domestic violence very seriously. The entire NFL does. I would say if we were ever considering a person that had even an allegation, we would do our due diligence, we would look into that incident as best we can. I stand behind our players, 100 percent. Every player we've drafted, we've done the best we can to look into everything about them. I'll leave it at that."
That's an easy, safe answer. Perhaps it's even true now, but the Bucs haven't exactly shied away from keeping people accused or even convicted of domestic abuse on their roster in the past. Most notably, the Bucs had Jerramy Stevens on their roster from 2007 through 2010, convicted of misdemeanor assault in a plea deal following a domestic abuse accusation.
Even last year, the Bucs pursued Greg Hardy, though he ultimately signed with the Dallas Cowboys. They also signed Tony McDaniel, who had been convicted of a disorderly contact misdemeanor in 2010 following a domestic battery charge, for which the NFL suspended him one game. The Bucs never really commented on either player's domestic violence history. And then there's Jameis Winston, who was accused of rape, but never charged or found liable. He's facing an ongoing civil suit. The Bucs drafted him number one overall.
Of course, taking domestic violence seriously doesn't necessarily mean passing on every player accused of such an incident. The Bucs run a sports team, which means they want to win games -- and the more players you pass on for non-football reasons, the less talent your team will have. At the same time, the Bucs want their fans to like them and their players, too. Which is why you get this kind of non-specific talk about due diligence and research: if the Bucs do sign a player with a record of domestic violence, they'll say they did their research without getting into any kind of detail -- and the fans will have to be satisfied with that.