The timing is hardly ideal for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team many expect to draft Winston. That brings up the question of whether the lawsuit is enough to prompt the Bucs to go in another direction with the first overall pick.
Assuming the Bucs already were leaning toward Winston, I don't think the lawsuit will change their thinking. This suit has been expected and it's unlikely the Bucs were surprised by it.
It's unlikely the Bucs will be surprised by anything involving Winston. The team has spent months looking into everything about him. That includes the rape accusation and several other off-the-field incidents. The team has talked to more than 75 people who know Winston well.
All indications are the Bucs aren't scared off by what they have found. Co-chairman Joel Glazer and coach Lovie Smith previously have said they're comfortable with the idea of Winston being the face of the franchise.
The lawsuit isn't going to score public-relations points with a sizeable part of the fan base that is against drafting Winston. But the Bucs seem ready to deal with any backlash. They've pointed out that Winston wasn't charged with any crime in the alleged sexual assault.
Like it or not, the lawsuit isn't going to change the Bucs' plans.