Calvin Ridley isn’t having a great couple of years in the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons wideout played in five games for the team throughout the 2021 season. After that, he announced that he will be stepping away due to mental health issues. Fast forward a couple of months and the NFL just handed him a yearlong suspension for this upcoming season.
Why? Well, he was caught placing bets during a five-day period back in November. Mind you, he was away from the team at that time due and hadn’t stepped near their facility in a while. The NFL’s Commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Your actions put the integrity of the game at risk, threatened to damage public confidence in professional football, and potentially undermined the reputations of your fellow players throughout the NFL.”
He continued by saying, “For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I Acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions.”
The season long suspension does seem a bit harsh, especially considering that the investigation proved that he used no inside information. Nor was there any implication that the game he gambled on got compromised in any way. Teammates, coaches and staff members alike were all interviewed, and none had knowledge of his betting either.
What Happens to Calvin Ridley Now?
It was reported that Ridley was caught after using his personal cell phone to place parlay bets. The biggest issue there is that some of them involved his own team, the Falcons. Fans started going at him all over social media, to which he said a few things. He posted three times on Twitter, saying, “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem. I couldn’t even watch football at that point. Just gone be more healthy when I come back.” All of those were sent about a couple minutes after the other.
Ridley will not be allowed to return to the organization until February 15th, 2023. There were already doubts about him returning to the Falcons. Now it seems like it is all but locked in that he will be on another team soon. He is still under contract with Atlanta through 2023, as his contract will just toll for the 2022 year. Which means that Atlanta will have $11 million extra to work with for the season.
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