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Jameis Winston’s 3-game suspension could affect Packers’ extra 2019 first-round pick

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The Packers own a 2019 first-round pick from the Saints, who now open the season against a Buccaneers team missing its starting quarterback.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

As reports earlier in June indicated, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has received a three-game suspension stemming from his actions towards a female rideshare driver in 2016. While his absence directly affects his team, it also impacts the Green Bay Packers.

In the season opener, the Buccaneers face off against the New Orleans Saints, the team that traded its 2019 first-round pick to the Packers earlier this offseason. Though the Saints would have probably entered that game as favorites anyway, the absence of Winston provides them with an additional advantage. And, of course, the more games New Orleans wins this year, the less valuable that first-rounder becomes.

Moving beyond future draft capital, the Packers likely will have to outpace the saints and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Buccaneers’ Week 2 opponent, in the race for top seeding in the NFC this season. If Winston’s absence leaves Tampa Bay in a state of disarray, it could make the playoff race more difficult for Green Bay.

Of course, this assumes that Winston and his representatives don’t appeal the suspension. Winston’s statement on the suspension suggests he decided against doing so, but what exactly he plans to do remains unclear.