Buccaneers: Antoine Winfield Jr. gives fans another reason to love him
By Rob Leeds
Antoine Winfield Jr. has been a fan-favorite since he arrived in Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers will love him even more after his actions today.
Antoine Winfield Jr. has experienced an excellent start to his NFL career. A Super Bowl ring during your rookie season is a difficult mountain to climb, but Winfield was able to emerge as a leader during his first year and played a massive role when it mattered.
In addition to his play on the field, Winfield is the type of player that fans immediately flock to support. After an impressive college career and a great start to the season, Winfield was a front-runner to win Defensive Rookie of the Year all the way until the end of the season. That snub still stings.
Winfield’s regular season was excellent, but his presence under the bright lights of the playoffs is what really set him apart. In one of the most memorable moments of a historic Super Bowl, Winfield gave many fans on social media a new profile picture.
Antoine Winfield Jr. made an impact on the biggest game of the season
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As the Buccaneers started to pull away from the Chiefs and a win looked all but certain, Winfield broke up a pass intended for Tyreek Hill, leaned over the fallen receiver, and then proceeded to throw up Hill’s signature peace sign in his face. The NFL world exploded.
Hill has been known to throw up the peace sign to defenders that futilely chase him, and Winfield doing this after Hill’s performance during the regular season was poetic justice.
This taunt drew a flag, but the damage was done. Hill was very quiet after that point, and the vast majority of the Bucs fanbase had a new favorite player. The only people that had an issue with the display were Cheifs fans and the NFL.
The taunt drew a flag, which mattered very little, but the real damage came in the form of a fine. $7,815 seems a bit excessive for a one-second action against a player that has done the same thing for years, but Winfield Jr. didn’t let this get him down.
In addition to paying the fine to the NFL, Winfield decided to donate the same amount to the Hillsborough Education Foundation.
As far as draft picks go, Antoine Winfield Jr. has already set himself apart in a way that will define his legacy in Tampa for a long time to come. The Bucs made the best selection possible in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and we should all look forward to what Winfield does on and off the field during the remainder of his career.
Here’s to more peace signs, big hits, game-changing plays, and an impact on the community that won’t be forgotten.
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