Buccaneers division rival suspended full season for gambling

Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won’t be seeing Calvin Ridley in 2022, as the Buccaneers’ NFC South division rival has been suspended a full season for gambling on NFL games while he was away from the Atlanta Falcons.

The NFL is king, aren’t they? Just when other sports are ramping up in the American consciousness after the Super Bowl, the NFL offseason is the gift that keeps on giving. The most recent bombshell is that Calvin Ridley will be suspended for the entirety of the 2022 season for betting on ball games.

Now, obviously, there’s a lot to unpack here. Ridley was away from the team for mental health reasons when he was betting on games, so he wasn’t directly involved. Yes, the NFL also has at least four “official sportsbooks.” However, this isn’t the time to open up the mental health can of worms as it is a sensitive subject and should be treated as such. Then there’s can number two which worms tie into the Pete Rose debate.

The main takeaway as it pertains to the Bucs though is that it is now confirmed they will not be seeing the talented receiver in 2022, or perhaps beyond. There was speculation that the Falcons may be moving off of Ridley, which, given the Buccaneers’ uncertainty at cornerback, was seen as a good thing. Now that it’s confirmed, the *ahem* BETTING FAVORITES to win the NFC South may have just seen their odds improve, if not just ever so slightly.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying “For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction.” Naturally, Ridley has been sanctioned as the league deems appropriate.

This will no doubt be the highest-profile gambling-related suspension in the NFL since Alex Karras and Paul Hornung in 1963, both of whom wound up in the Hall of Fame, unlike Pete Rose. If it happens again though, Ridley may find himself banned for life like the likes of Merle Hapes, Frankie Filchock, and Art Schlichter. Look it up, kids.

The main point is, there’s one less wide receiver the new-look Buccaneers will have to deal with going forward. No matter how you feel on the issue, for Bucs fans that is a good thing.