Scratch Calvin Ridley off the Philadelphia Eagles’ spring wish list. The NFL dropped the hammer on the star receiver on Monday after an investigation concluded he gambled on NFL games during the 2021 season.
Ridley was suspended indefinitely through at least the conclusion of the 2022 season, according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The bets happened during a five-day period last November when the Atlanta Falcons stud was away from the team while dealing with a non-football illness. No inside information was used, and no games were compromised, per a league investigation.
“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,” Goodell wrote in a memo to Ridley, via a press release. “For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction.”
Ridley only saw action in five games last season and didn’t appear in a contest after October 24. He finished the 2021 campaign with 31 receptions for 281 yards and 2 touchdowns. He initially took a leave of absence from the Falcons to deal with depression and mental health issues, according to an Instagram post.
The latest Eagles news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Eagles newsletter here!
Ridley Considered Top Trade Target for Eagles
Ridley quickly emerged as a strong trade candidate for the Philadelphia Eagles due to his Alabama connections with Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith. The three players posed for a photo after the Eagles and Falcons played in Week 1. Rumors of Ridley being on the outs in Atlanta started back in January and only strengthened in recent weeks. He needed a “fresh start” in a supportive locker room.
The asking price? One of the Eagles’ three 1st-rounders probably would have gotten a deal done. One league executive told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that a conditional second-rounder might do the trick. Now Ridley might be dirt cheap for a team willing to wait out a one-year suspension.
Twitter was rife with hot takes on Ridley’s suspension on Monday. It seems pretty hypocritical for a league that has largely turned the other cheek to domestic violence while taking huge gobs of money from sports betting websites to punish Ridley so severely. The crime didn’t seem to justify the punishment. Oh well.
Howie Roseman Looking for WR in NFL Draft?
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni and general manager Howie Roseman both expressed confidence in Quez Watkins taking over the No. 2 receiver spot opposite DeVonta Smith. That’s all well and good, but don’t think for one second they won’t be looking to add someone else. Roseman hinted at investing another draft pick in a wideout.
“We have 10 picks. We have nine through the first five rounds,” Roseman told reporters on March 2. “So, you’ll have opportunities in the draft where you’ll go, ‘Hey, that guy is a good fit for what we’re doing offensively. That guy is a good receiver, and we’ll see how free agency goes, as well.’”