It appears that the latest on the Jameis Winston-Uber case is what will finally bring the investigation full circle.
On Friday, ESPN reported that former Vanderbilt player Brandon Banks serving time in jail for rape was the third Uber passenger along with Winston and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Ronald Darby. However, the three were together only for one Uber ride. It was the second that is in question, where Banks said Winston left alone.
This creates a major hole to what has been previously reported. Late Thursday, NFL Network reported that the investigation revealed Winston was in fact in the backseat of the Uber ride. Those were Darby’s words in his statement some time ago. Those findings contradicted the accuser’s statement which stated he was in the front seat. But this latest report now puts Winston alone in the front seat for the second Uber ride after being sent away from the Arizona club they were at.
It was also reported on Thursday that there were conditions Winston can meet to lower or increase the three-game suspension the NFL was planning on handing down. With not knowing who that third person was initially, was revealing who it may have been be one of those conditions? Doing so would have shown cooperation with the investigation, but let’s say that were to be true and Winston never said who was with them, then that may go against him as a condition not met.
Yes, per Banks’ attorney, the league attempted to talk to him while in jail. They were not successful and the NFL apparently never tried to again. League officials may have just wanted to know a few things, not knowing there were two rides and only all three were in the first one.
Let’s circle back now to the NFLN report where Winston was in the backseat. This would mean that their findings in the investigation only pointed to the first ride. Again, perhaps not knowing there was a second. If true, this may now actually further extend or delay the investigation or the results of it. Because if the league found he was in the backseat, that was only for the first ride apparently. Now they have to look into the second ride — which you’d think they would try to get surveillance footage of outside the club and see whether Winston entered the car through the front or back. That is of course, if the league doesn’t know about the second ride.
Regardless, this still raises many questions. Was Darby not cooperating, and instead lying to protect his friend? Why was the NFL interested in talking to Banks but never did? And why did Banks decide to come out to speak about this now? Was Winston so out of it, he doesn’t remember anything and perhaps another condition is entering a program? Whatever it all may be, the latest report may be the final piece to the NFL’s investigation.
And it won’t be good for Winston, nor the Tampa Bay organization.