The NFL has suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for the 2022 season after the league found that he had been gambling on NFL games, according to a report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on March 7.
Pelissero later added that “the suspension of Calvin Ridley, whose contract will toll during his (at least) one-year suspension from the NFL for betting on games. He’ll now be under contract through 2023 and his $11.116 million salary will come off Atlanta’s books this season.”
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Rodger Goodell’s Official Letter to Calvin Ridley
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell notified Ridley of his suspension via the letter below:
“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.”
The league’s statement stated that Ridley’s gambling activity during a five-day stretch period in November of 2021 while he was away from the team on the reserve non-football illness list.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Ridley bet on the Falcons’ win amongst other teams in
“multi-legged parlay bets.” Schefter also reported that, per the league’s investigation, his bets did not include any other players, coaches etc. And since Georgia is not a legal betting state, Schefter said the bets were made “out of state” on his mobile device.
The NFL also stated that Ridley may petition for reinstatement on or after February 15, 2023.
Ridley Stepped Away in Midst of the 2021 Season
After a surprisingly rough start to the 2021 season, Ridley made a decision on October 31, 2021 to step away from football in order to take care of his “mental wellbeing” until further notice.
“These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I’d like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing,” Ridley wrote on Twitter. “This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future. I want to thank my teammates, the entire Atlanta Falcons organization, our great fans, my friends, and my family for all of their support during this time.”
The Falcons’ former 2018 first-round pick played in just five games last season where he caught 31 passes for 281 yards (9.1 average) and 2 touchdowns.
In four NFL seasons thus far, Ridley has recorded a total of 248 catches for 3,342 yards (13.5 average) and 28 touchdowns. His first 1,000-yard season came during the 2020 season and he would have had one in 2019, but an abdominal injury cut his season short.