In a development that nobody could’ve possibly expected, Falcons WR Calvin Ridley has been suspended from playing in the 2022 NFL season due to gambling on games during the 2021 campaign.
Ridley’s actions apparently took place during his absence from the team, and it’s presented in the statement that there was no evidence of insider activity, so it’s not like he was betting on outcomes he could directly impact, but the fact is that it is a direct conflict of interest, lacks any kind of sportsman-like awareness, and is a bit silly.
However, if the NFL is going to actively promote gambling and partner themselves with companies like DraftKings, then it seems very counter-intuitive to punish a player, who was away from his team and has no evidence of maliciously betting an outcome.
Anyway, Ridley was slated to be a prime target for the Eagles this offseason. Hes’ a graduate of Alabama and obviously has a longstanding relationship with his collegiate quarterback, Jalen Hurts. The pair spent two years working together and have had nothing but glowing things to say about one another since making the leap to the NFL level.
Ridley is going to be a free agent next year, which may actually work in favor of Philadelphia, depending on how seriously they view his actions and whether or not they want that kind of behavior being a factor in the locker room. Unfortunately, with the rate that the NFL are aligning themselves with sportsbooks, it appears that it’s going to find its way in eventually regardless.
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire