‘We Got a Bet’: Commanders Rookie Acknowledges $10,000 Wager With Ex-Teammate

Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers

Getty LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and wide receiver Malik Nabers.

Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels might be about to get an early lesson in NFL policy.

The No. 2 overall pick went on the “All Facts No Brakes” podcast with former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and confirmed that he’d made a $10,000 bet with former LSU teammate and New York Giants wide receiver Malik Nabers on who would win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.

Nabers, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, was the first to disclose the bet on “The Pivot” podcast.

“We got a bet going for Rookie of the Year,” Nabers said. “Whoever lose gotta pay. I think it’s $10,000 cash.”

Daniels confirmed the bet — and the amount — while talking with Johnson.

“Man, he wasn’t supposed to tell nobody,” Daniels said. “It’s supposed to be — we got a little something going on. … I mean, [Nabers] put it out there, so it’s like I can’t say he [lied], so.”

The NFL’s gambling policy explicitly forbids players from any form of gambling on anything to do with games. From the league’s official Gambling Policy for NFL Personnel (2022):

“Betting on Football: All NFL Personnel are prohibited from placing, soliciting, or facilitating any bet, whether directly or through a third party, on any NFL game, practice or other event (e.g., Draft or Combine). This includes betting on game outcome, statistics, score, performance of any individual participant, “futures,” or any other kind of “proposition bet” in any way related to the NFL (regardless of whether such bet involves actual on-field play) (e.g., prop bets related to Gatorade color, pre- or post-game events, halftime show, off-field player conduct or outcomes, etc.”

FanDuel currently has Daniels at +600 odds (behind front-runner Caleb Williams of the Chicago Bears) and Nabers at +1400 odds to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

NFL Writers Have Different Takes on the Wager

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote that the friendly wager between Daniels and Nabers “is a symptom of a far deeper problem that the league seemingly isn’t taking seriously.”

“Their nonchalance speaks to the deeper issues the NFL is facing (or, as the case may be, ignoring) regarding the ongoing influx of new players who have come of age in an era of legalized, and desensitized, gambling. The stigma is long gone,” Florio wrote on May 9.

But USA Today’s Prince J. Grimes called the issue “much ado about nothing” in a May 9 story.

“I truly doubt the NFL ever believed it could stop friendly interpersonal wagers — nor does it even try,” Grimes wrote. “It’s why we’ve never heard of a player being suspended for playing card games for money on a team flight, even though that’s technically against the rules too. Because that doesn’t harm the league’s integrity.”

The NFL has been dealing with gambling scandals for the better part of the last century, dating back to when Giants quarterback Frank Filchock and running back Merle Hapes received lifetime suspensions for conspiring to fix the 1947 NFL Championship Game, which the Giants lost to the Chicago Bears.

In 1963, the NFL was rocked by another gambling scandal when NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle suspended two of the game’s biggest stars, Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras, for the entire 1963 NFL season for betting on games.

Ridley Is Latest Example of Gambling Scandal

More recently, the NFL has seen a flurry of gambling-related suspensions with the proliferation of online gambling. Most notably current Tennessee Titans wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games — Ridley was playing for the Atlanta Falcons at the time and was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars after he was suspended.

“In a dark moment, I made a stupid mistake,” Ridley wrote in The Players’ Tribune following his suspension. “I wasn’t trying to cheat the game. That’s the thing I want to make clear. At the time, I had been completely away from the team for about a month. I was still just so depressed and angry, and the days were so long. I was looking for anything to take my mind off of things and make the day go by faster.”

Getting suspended for gambling isn’t necessarily a career killer — Ridley was reinstated in 2023 and signed a 4-year, $92 million contract with the Titans in March 2024. Hornung and Karras were eventually elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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