For betting on games, Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Calvin Ridley has received a suspension from the NFL for at least one year. Ridley won’t play next season and there is no guarantee that the NFL will continue to exist in its current form. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended running back Le’Veon Bell for four games after an investigation by the league found that he bet on NFL games while away from the team dealing with mental health issues. The league has announced that the suspension will be carried through the conclusion of the 2022 regular season.
Ridley was placed on injured reserve after Week 8 last season, ending his season on November 1.
Ridley tweeted this morning, “I’m betting $1,500 that I don’t have a problem with gambling.”
He also seemed to be taking a light-hearted approach when he added in another tweet “I know I was doing something wrong, but I’m going to be healthier when I get back.” He also tweeted, “Just going to be more healthy when I get back.”
A league investigation uncovered no evidence inside information was used or that any game was compromised by Ridley’s betting, Goodell’s announcement said. Nor was there evidence suggesting Falcons coaches, players or staff were aware of Ridley’s betting activity.
Ridley may petition for reinstatement after February 23 next year.
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During the off-season, the Falcons haven’t made any updates on Ridley’s injury. The team released a press release Monday saying it cooperated with the NFL’s investigation in the last few months.
We were first made aware of this investigation on February 9. We have cooperated fully with it since we received notice, and support the NFL’s findings and actions. We’re moving forward for the 2022 season with the decisions we’ve made. “With the decision that was made, any further questions regarding the investigation should be directed towards the league office.”
“In a letter from Goodell to the NFLPA, the commissioner said: ‘We’re going to be looking at everything.'”
On that day, he explained why he was absent by writing on his Twitter account: “I need to step back from football at this time to focus on my mental health.”
Ridley Scott has not posted any updates on his Twitter account since last week, but today he posted an icon of football and wrote: “Is life.” He then added another update: “I learn from my LS.”
The Falcons’ rookie wide receiver had 90 catches for 1.37 million yards and nine touchdowns in his first season. Ridley was expected to become Ryan’s top playmaker when Julio Jones was traded to the Titans before the 2021 season.But Ridley had only three receptions for 28 yards and no touchdowns in his shortened season
The Falcons were approximately $9.98M over the salary cap for the year 2022. They’ll be able to remove Ridley’s $15.17 million contract from their payroll for the year, moving them under the salary cap. That contract shifts to 2024, when Ridley will be a free agent.
The suspension of Ridley might affect Atlanta’s plans for free agent signings and the NFL draft. Now that wide receiver has become a position of need, the team could place a stronger emphasis on re-sign ing free agent Russell Gage Rookie tight end Kyle Pits and Gage were Atlanta’s leading receivers last season.
This isn’t the first time Goodell has suspended a player for gambling. He suspended Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback Josh Shaw in November for gambling on an NFL football game. Shaw hasn’t played in the NFL since his suspension. He missed 21 games of the regular season last year and the entire 2020 season so far.
The most famous disciplining of NFL players for gambling was in 1963 when then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended two star running backs and a defensive tackle — both now Hall of Fame members. Each was sidelined for the season, with Rozelle claiming he had made bets on league games and associated with gamblers or “well known hoodlums.”
Twenty years later, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended Colts quarterback John Elway, who was in just one of his first two pro seasons.
Schlichting will not be reinstated until the league can be solidly sure that the serious violations he has committed will not repeat themselves.
Schlichter was rehired and played for 1984 and 1985. He tried to quit his gambling habit but couldn’t, so he ended up in prison for a multi-million dollar ticketing scam.
Frank Filchock, who was the general manager of the New York Giants at the time, and Merle Hapes, who was the head coach of the team, were suspended by then-Commissioner Bert Bell for failing to report an attempt to bribe them to lose the 1946 NFL Championship Game. Filchock actually played in that game, which the Giants lost 24-14 to the Bears, but Hapes was not allowed to take the field.
Subsequently, both were suspended. Filchock didn’t return to the NFL until 1950 with Baltimore, though he played parts of four seasons in Canada. Hapes never played another NFL game.