Skipper’s Smokehouse, a restaurant in Tampa, Florida, has offered Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston unlimited free crab legs if he gets drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the upcoming NFL draft, which begins on Thursday, April 30.
As the top overall draft pick, the move is already widely expected to the point that Sports Illustrated says “the drama starts with the second pick.”
Skipper’s Smokehouse co-owner Tom White, an FSU alumnus, has offered to “hook up” Jameis if he gets selected by the Buccaneers. If you don’t follow college football and still recognize Winston’s name, it might be because last year, the quarterback was caught shoplifting crab legs from a Publix in Tallahassee, and was issued a civil citation.
Winston later said that the crab legs had been given to him by an admiring employee who promised to give him free food “any time” he visited the store.
“Yes, it’s for real,” a spokesperson for the restaurant told The Tampa Tribune. “TMZ [which first reported the story] contacted us as a joke, but we really will honor it if he wants to come in.”
The promotion has garnered mixed reactions on social media, with some protesting the restaurant’s decision to make light of the theft. “Funny how much you can get away with if you can throw a ball,” one person wrote on Skipper’s Facebook page.
In response, the restaurant posted the following statement:
“Our position is that we feel Jameis’ capabilities as a quarterback on the field are suitable to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer organization. We are aware that there have been some off the field incidents and allegations against him that the Skipper's Smokehouse ownership, staff & management do not condone but we do think with the support of the Tampa Bay community and folks like Derrick Brooks, Jameis can grow into a good asset for our team.”