(Yahoo!) In case you didn't think Jameis Winston (or his advisers) could self-inflict any more damage while creating unnecessary negative headlines for the player or Florida State, here's Wednesday's latest:
Either an attorney of the woman who accused him of rape in 2013 – the incident that didn't result in charges because the Tallahassee police investigation was so pathetic even the local prosecutor called it "a cluster" –tried to demand $7 million from Winston in exchange for the victim/accuser's silence…
Or an attorney advising Winston actually started the process by flying down to Tampa and offering that sum, or some sum, to the victim/accuser as a way to buy her off…
Or the talks broke down immediately because the woman was not interested so much in money as making sure the Heisman Trophy winner was held accountable for his actions that night, which caused the woman to immediately contact two separate police departments and then within hours subject herself to a rape kit…
Or the talks fell apart because Winston's advising attorney went over the top and tried to be a bully. The woman's attorney said in a statement he, "threatened to sue our client and her parents for civil racketeering in an effort to intimidate them into staying quiet" and acted, "crude and insulting going so far as to say 'your client likes to [expletive] football players' "…
Or … well … as with anything involving Jameis Winston, it keeps going and going and going and getting uglier and dumber and more unnecessary with each turn.
You'd think this back-and-forth was rock bottom but history says it won't be.
What we do know is that David Cornwell, the high-profile attorney who often works in the world of pro football and is advising Winston's family, was determined to take this extortion/bullying story public. So determined, in fact, that he tweeted out that he was sending Florida State a letter on the issue (causing media to file open records requests) and it soon appeared on TMZ.
It later resulted in the woman's attorney, John Clune, blasting Cornwell back and spinning the charges around, stirring up the entire sordid scandal again in the process.
That led Cornwell, a brass-knuckle brawler if there ever was one, to respond again via Twitter with:
"Tries to extort a 20yr college student for $7 million … and I'm unprofessional. #priceless."
"Hmmmmm…why no denial of $7million demand? #sirwalterscottandtangledwebs."
Just to recap, this has descended into a lawyer using hashtags.
How this story gets any stranger is anyone's guess.
Perhaps the bubble Florida State administrators and coach Jimbo Fisher live under is so impenetrable, they just yawn and view all this as just another day at work.
Or perhaps they have just come to the understanding that they've so enabled their quarterback that no matter how embarrassing it gets, they can't possibly discipline or distance themselves.
Or perhaps they see the daily drama as no big deal.
Or maybe, somewhere at FSU, someone begins to wonder if the recurring, self-created Soap Opera du Jameis is worth however many touchdowns he'll score this weekend.
On Tuesday, Fisher announced Winston would no longer hold a weekly availability with the media, a decision that demanded no explanation. Even Winston's biggest fans would agree he's a PR train wreck that desperately needs, for his reputation, NFL future and the good of the Seminoles, to just be calm, quiet and play ball.
Fisher wound up claiming, according to Warchant.com, that it was so Winston could have more time to concentrate on academics, which was good for a laugh to anyone not wearing garnet-and-gold blinders.
Regardless, it may have been the first smart off-the-field move involving Winston we've seen. This was FSU actually helping the guy out. Please, Jameis, just chill.