While NFL free agency and trades have been dominating headlines for football fans, who knew some breaking Florida sports betting news would prove to be one of the biggest news stories of the year? That’s the case, as Atlanta Falcons wideout Calvin Ridley was suspended for betting on NFL games in Florida. This is truly out of this world and it’s easy to see why he was handed a strong punishment.
Betting on the NFL by players is strictly forbidden. According to a local report, Ridley placed parlays while using an online betting app in Florida. There was a brief period where the Hard Rock launched its online mobile betting app for people to use, and apparently Ridley signed up and decided it would be a smart idea to place some wagers on NFL games. What in the heck was he thinking?
Per a report, Ridley bet a total of $1,500 on his parlays. With him being suspended for the entire 2022 season, that’s going to cost him more than $10 million. When you look at things here, those $1,500 cost him an insane amount of money. Not only that, Ridley will be missing the entire 2022 campaign, which comes after he missed most of last season due to mental health battles.
Atlanta fans are incredibly disappointed in Ridley and a quick look at his Twitter account shows he’s not happy he’s been suspended. At the same time, he simply has to know better than this. NFL players betting on NFL games is a massive no-no. He left commissioner Roger Goodell no choice in this case. The decision from Ridley to check out NFL odds and make bets has cost him dearly.
Calvin Ridley got caught because he placed a legal mobile bet in Florida with Hard Rock. They notified Genius Sports, who oversees betting integrity for the NFL. Ridley placed 3, 5 and 8 game parlay bets that did include the Falcons, per source.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) March 7, 2022
Ridley’s suspension has sent a clear message to the rest of the NFL
It goes without saying, but Ridley’s suspension has sent a clear message to the rest of the NFL in this case. If anything, it’s a big-time reminder that no one should be betting on games. What really stands out about Ridley here is that the best he made came from when he was away from the team. Ridley took a leave of absence of focus on his mental health. While people are understanding of that, he shouldn’t be betting.
“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 in part of a letter to Ridley. “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.”
Goodell wasn’t going to let Ridley get away with this. There’s plenty of people claiming that the year-long suspension is far too long for the star wide receiver, but the NFL has a no-tolerance policy when it comes to betting. This is something Ridley was fully aware of, yet he still decided to ignore things and place $1,500 down to see if he could hit on some parlays. It was irresponsible and unacceptable.
Now, Ridley will have the entire year to focus on his mistakes, while also trying to get his body ready to return in 2023. On his Twitter account, he made it clear he doesn’t have a gambling problem. Ridley was just trying to have some entertainment in this case, but he’s now facing some serious consequences for his decision. He’s simply got to learn from this and grow from it.
I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022
Atlanta’s odds are now in the dumpster thanks to the Ridley news
With this suspension, Atlanta’s odds are now in the dumpster thanks to the Ridley news. When healthy, the former Alabama superstar is considered one of the best wideouts in the NFC South. With Julio Jones no longer in Atlanta, Falcons fans were ready to see Ridley step in as a true No. 1 wide receiver and help Matt Ryan make some great plays for the offense. The two have strong chemistry.
Instead, Ridley won’t be back out onto the field until the start of the 2023 season at the earliest. This will leave a major hole in the offense for Atlanta next season. The good news for them is that they have some cap space that has opened up, so they could be aggressive in free agency to try and bring in a speedster. Still, it’s going to be quite tough to match Ridley’s potential.
According to the best rated sportsbooks, Atlanta now holds +7000 Super Bowl odds for next year. That tells you that people have little belief that this team will be able to go on any kind of a run to push for the Lombardi Trophy. Not only that, at this point it’d be a major shock if the Falcons were to even make the playoffs. They missed out on things in 2021 too.
It could turn out to be a long season for the Falcons fans in 2022. They had some high expectations with the NFL Draft right around the corner, but this Ridley update has been devastating for countless folks to see.