What does Calvin Ridley’s suspension mean for the Atlanta Falcons?

Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley has been suspended for the 2022 season after betting on NFL games in November 2021.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiverCalvin Ridley has been suspended for at least the 2022 NFL season for betting on NFL games during the 2021 campaign.

In a press release issued by the NFL, the league said Ridley’s gambling took place during a five-day period in late November 2021 when he was not with the team and was away from the club’s facility on the non-football illness list.

Calvin Ridley suspended for at least the 2022 NFL season

The NFL determined Ridley placed multi-legged parlay bets involving three, five, and eight games that included the Falcons to win those games, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

The bets were placed through his mobile device in Florida and the league was informed of his activities.

The bets happened between Nov. 23 and Nov. 28, per a source.

However, a league investigation uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way. Additionally, there was no evidence suggesting any awareness by coaches, staff, teammates, or other players of his betting activity.

In a letter to Ridley notifying him of his suspension, NFL commissioner Goodell wrote:

“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. 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.”

On Twitter, Ridley responded by saying, “I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem.”

“I know I was wrong,” Ridley wrote. “But I’m getting 1 year lol.”

Ridley becomes the fifth player in NFL history to be suspended for gambling. The others were Alex Karras (1963), Paul Hornung (1963), Art Schlichter (1983), and Josh Shaw (2019).

What’s next for Ridley and the Falcons?

The NFL gambling policy states, “All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or indirectly through a third-party, on any NFL game, practice or other event. This includes betting on game outcome, statistics, score, performance of any individual participant, or any other kind of ‘proposition bet’ on which wagering is offered.”

Ridley may petition for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2023. The Falcons save $11 million in salary and salary-cap space with this punishment, and Ridley is now unavailable for potential trades.

“We were first made aware of the league’s investigation on Feb. 9,” the Falcons said in a statement. “We have cooperated fully with the investigation since receiving notice and support the league’s findings and actions. 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.”

More reaction on Calvin Ridley’s suspension from PFN’s Mike Kaye: NFL benches Falcons’ Calvin Ridley for 2022: How gambling suspension impacts Atlanta

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