Calvin Ridley Applies to NFL for Reinstatement After One-Year Gambling Ban

Return is likely

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley has applied for reinstatement in the NFL after serving a one-year suspension for gambling offenses. Ridley was found to have bet on NFL games during the 2021 season when he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons. 

emphasized that he did not have a gambling problem

This led to him being suspended from the league for at least a year; the earliest he could seek reinstatement was February 15. Ridley did admit at the time that he had placed bets totaling $1,500 on NFL games, but emphasized that he did not have a gambling problem. 

Unless there is evidence that Ridley has committed further violations during his suspension, it appears likely that he will be swiftly reinstated. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be the person making the decision. 

The offenses

The last NFL game that Ridley played in was in week seven of the 2021 NFL season. A week later, he announced that he was stepping away from football for a while to focus on his mental well-being. 

Shortly after embarking on this break – in November 2021 – Ridley placed mobile bets in Florida through the Hard Rock Sportsbook. The sportsbook operator noticed the wagers and subsequently reported the matter to the official sports data provider of the league, Genius Sports. The NFL was then made aware of Ridley’s activity. 

no evidence that he used inside information

Ridley placed fewer than ten wagers, with a few of them being multi-selection parlays. Some of the parlays did contain his own team, but there was no evidence that he used inside information or that there was any sort of comprised element to the games. 

Getting back to business

While Ridley has not played a game in the NFL for quite some time, the Jaguars acquired him at the November 1 trade deadline. The 28-year-old former first-round pick was named second-team All-Pro in 2020, so he could be a big boost to Doug Pederson’s offense.

Ridley had to forfeit his $11.1m base salary for the 2022 season.

While the NFL has strong links with gambling operators, it still cracks down hard on any issue that might impact the integrity of the games. Back in December, New York Jets wide receiver coach Miles Austin received an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy. It does not appear that Austin placed bets on NFL games.

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