The NFL announced Monday that they have suspended Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley for the entirety of the 2022 season.
Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Ridley bet on NFL games during a five-day period in late November 2021 while away from the team. The league determined that Ridley placed multi-legged parlay bets on 3, 5 and 8 games that included the Falcons to win. Ridley can apply for reinstatement to the NFL no sooner than Feb. 15, 2023. He may appeal the suspension within three days.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell penned a letter to Ridley notifying him of his suspension.
“There is nothing more fundamental to the NFL’s success — and to the reputation of everyone associated with our league — than upholding the integrity of the game,” Goodell wrote. “This is the responsibility of every player, coach, owner, game official, and anyone else employed in the league. 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.
“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.”
Ridley, 27, stepped away from the Falcons prior to their Week 7 matchup with the Panthers to focus on his mental health. Atlanta picked up Ridley’s fifth-year option for 2022 in January, which was set to pay him $11.1 million, per Spotrac. Ridley’s salary will come off the books for Atlanta in 2022. He will now be under contract for 2023, when he was previously set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Multiple reports as of Monday said that teams such as the Browns and Patriots had interest in acquiring Ridley from the Falcons. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Atlanta declined to engage in trade talks with teams for Ridley out of good faith, knowing that a possible suspension was coming.
“We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9. We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions,” the Falcons said in a statement. “We are moving forward in the 2022 season with the decision that was made. With the decision that was made by the NFL, any further questions on the investigation should be directed to the league office.”
Ridley addressed the suspension in a series of tweets.
Through four seasons and 49 games, Ridley has hauled in 248 receptions for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns.
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