NFL reinstates Ridley from gambling suspension
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The NFL on Monday fully reinstated Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley after a suspension for violating the league’s gambling policy.
Ridley, who filed for reinstatement from an NFL gambling ban on Feb. 15, is now eligible to participate in all team activities immediately.
“Today’s NFL reinstatement ends a challenging chapter of my professional career, one that was self-imposed and started with a single error in judgment,” Ridley said in a statement. “I have always admitted my mistakes and this is no different. I have a lot of respect for the game and I’m happy to be able to restart my career in Jacksonville. I look forward to showing my new coaches, teammates and the entire Jaguars organization exactly who I am and what I represent as a player and person.”
The Jaguars also released a statement saying they look forward to integrating Ridley into offense: “Calvin is a proven playmaker and we’re thrilled to see him compete against his new teammates, first during our off-season program in April and then into the 2023 season as we collectively aim for the championship in Jacksonville.”
Ridley was suspended for at least the 2022 season on March 7 last year after an investigation found he bet on NFL games for five days in November 2021 while away from the Atlanta Falcons. A league source told Sportzshala’s Adam Schefter last March that the league had decided that Riley was placing parlays, including out-of-state to win the Falcons through his mobile device.
In a series of tweets after the suspension was announced, Ridley admitted that his bets were $1,500 but said he had no problem with gambling.
The Jaguars traded for Ridley on November 1, giving the Falcons a 2023 fifth-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2024 that could rise to a second-round pick if the Jaguars sign Ridley to an extension. Ridley will now be guaranteed $11.116 million in 2023 as a fifth-year option on the rookie contract he signed with the Falcons after being selected 26th overall in 2018.
Ridley has not played in an NFL game since October 24, 2021. Ridley left the Falcons seven days later and said in a statement that he “needed to step away from football at this time and focus on his mental well being.”
Ridley, 28, had 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 games with the Falcons, including 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. If he can play at the same level he did in 2020 (90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns), the Jaguars could have one of the best offenses in the NFL.
Ridley will join Jaguar’s pass-catching division, which was bolstered last year by signing free agents. The Jaguars signed Christian Kirk (four years, $72 million, $37 million guaranteed), Zay Jones (three years, $24 million, $14 million guaranteed), and Evan Angram (one year, $9 million) as free agents. . and all three set career records at receptions and receiving yards.
The Jaguars officially posted the franchise tag on Engram on Monday. Sources told Sportzshala’s Jeremy Fowler last week that Engram was expected to get the tag.
“God knows how excited my family and I are to be staying at Jax! Hopefully we can make a long-term deal soon,” he said. wrote on Monday.
In 2022, the Jaguars ranked 10th in the NFL in scoring (23.8 ppg), assists (232.9 yards) and total offense (357.4 yards).