Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley has been suspended for at least the entire 2022 season for gambling on NFL games, the league announced on Monday.
The wagers took place in 2021 while Ridley was away from the Falcons on the non-football injury list, the NFL alleges. The NFL does not believe that the results of any game was compromised as a result of or in accordance with Ripley’s actions.
“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,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in letter to Ridley released by the league. “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.”
Ridley said that he bet a total of $1,500 in an apparent admission on Twitter after the league’s announcement.
“I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem,” Ridley said.
I bet 1500 total I don’t have a gambling problem
— CALVIN RIDLEY (@CalvinRidley1) March 7, 2022
Ridley may petition for reinstatement in February 2023. He also has the right to appeal the suspension.
After stepping away from the Falcons in 2021 for mental health purposes, Ridley was expected to return in 2022 and start alongside Russell Gage in the Atlanta offense. Without Ridley, Tajee Sharpe, Olamide Zaccheaus and Frank Darby are in line to step up into much larger roles for the 2022 Facons, along with tight ends Hayden Hurst and Kyle Pitts.
The Steelers will visit Atlanta in 2022. He had four catches for 38 yards in his only game against Pittsburgh, back in his rookie season in 2018. Ridley was set to make to $11.1 million in salary in 2022.