It’s been a good while since we’ve had a prominent NFL player suspended for betting on games, but that drought is now over.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who has been away from the team since October for mental health reasons, has been suspended by the NFL after an investigation revealed that he’d placed bets on league games. While we’re now in a world where you can’t go 5 minutes on a sports broadcast without a gambling and/or daily fantasy ad on the screen, players are still not allowed to gamble on NFL games per CBA rules.
For what it’s worth, the NFL’s investigation didn’t find any evidence that anyone within the Falcons organization knew that Ridley was betting, and “that any game was compromised in any way” through Calvin having inside information.
The Athletic has some extra details:
A source informed of the investigation told The Athletic Ridley placed three parlays, a three-team, five-team and eight-team, and bet on the Falcons to win in each of them. The bets were all made between Nov. 23-28. The Falcons beat the Jaguars on Nov. 28.
And it looks like we know how he got caught:
This is from the press release announcing Genius Sports Group as the NFL’s exclusive distributor of sports betting data to media companies and sports betting operators. Genius was able to corroborate information from Hard Rock, with whom Calvin Ridley placed his bets. pic.twitter.com/qoutElxv17— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 7, 2022
Ridley’s suspension means his contract will toll, so he’ll remain under contract with the Falcons until at least 2023 depending on whether or not his suspension extends beyond the 2022 season. He was thought to be a potential trade target with his rookie deal approaching its end, but that’s off the table.
Ridley is now the 5th player in NFL history to get the hammer dropped for gambling and only the second one inside of the last 40 years.
NFL Players Suspended for Gambling:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 7, 2022
⁰ 1963 Alex Karras ⁰ 1963 Paul Hornung ⁰ 1983 Art Schlichter ⁰ 2019 Josh Shaw ⁰ 2022 Calvin Ridley
Calvin never released an official statement and has opted to tweet through it.
I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022
I know I was wrong But I’m getting 1 year lol— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022