Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Calvin Ridley: Just stay away from gambling if you can

Mike Florio and Chris Simms explain why there’s a critical difference between the league pointing to efforts to educate players and coaches on the gambling policy and those individuals actually understanding it.

Calvin Ridley received a year-long suspension for betting on NFL games.

But even after that happened, several players have now been suspended for the same violation — while others have been suspended for lesser violations of the league’s betting policy.

On Monday, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said Ridley is willing to be a great resource for fellow Jacksonville players when it comes to complying with the NFL’s rules. Ridley said this week that he’s been bothered by some of the things that have happened since his suspension came down back in March of 2022.

“Yeah, it bugs me a little because my NFL buddies didn’t look at me and say, ‘Aw man, hell, that’s serious,’” Ridley told Juston Lewis of the Florida Times-Union. “I wish they would’ve looked at me and said, ‘Wow, they did him like that? I hope it doesn’t happen to me.’ Because that’s what I would’ve done.

“If I would’ve seen one of my NFL buddies get slammed like that, I would’ve been a little bit afraid and watching myself. But you know, it is what it is, they have to learn the hard way like I did. It’s gonna be alright though.”

Ridley noted that some players have reached out to him and he tried to educate them on the seriousness of the situation.

“I think, even for me, once I found out I was getting investigated, I didn’t even know [how serious it was],” Ridley said. “I was like, ‘OK, cool.’ I didn’t know how serious it was until I left that interview.

“It’s just schooling the guys on not to do it. It’s not worth it at all. I really think we don’t understand how serious it is. We kind of go over it and then it’s gone. It’s a real serious offense. You don’t want to do it, mess with the integrity of the game and your job. Just stay away from it if you can.”

Ridley, who was reinstated in March, now has a chance to resume his career with the Jaguars after he was traded by the Falcons during the regular season. But not all players who get embroiled in a betting scandal will have that second opportunity.