Jameis Winston: Photo of crab legs was way of saying thank you to friend

Published May. 1, 2015 5:37 p.m. ET

TAMPA, Fla. -- Turns out, Jameis Winston wasn't trolling critics with his photo of crab legs on NFL Draft night.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, named the No. 1 overall pick Thursday, posted an Instagram photo with crab legs during his party with friends and family in Bessemer, Alabama. Immediate reaction was interesting, given Winston's past for being cited for shoplifting $32.72 worth of seafood in April 2014 from a Publix in Tallahassee, Florida.

But as Winston tells it, the story has a simpler explanation.

On Friday, Winston said Capt. Keith Colburn from Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" gave him the crab legs as a gift for the draft party. The two met in April during a charity event involving former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott.

"I had no intention in that," Winston said of the photo. "There have been a lot of things that I have done that have been blown out of proportion. But I was just saying 'thank you' to a dear friend. It looks like a statement, but not only did he make my family happy, but it made him and my family feel good."

Winston later deleted the photo, which started making rounds on social media late Thursday. He said he didn't want to generate negative publicity that distracted from his Bucs introduction.

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht said the team never told Winston to remove the picture.


"The world knows, and Tampa definitely knows, that Jameis loves crab legs," Licht said.

You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.