It seems that trading for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley will not be among the New England Patriots’ offseason moves. As was announced by the NFL on Monday, Ridley has been suspended indefinitely but through at least the 2022 season.
The suspension stems from Ridley betting on NFL games during the 2021 season. According to a press release, the 27-year-old bet on games over the course of a five-day period last November. However, an investigation found “no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised in any way.”
League commissioner Roger Goodell released the following statement on the suspension:
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. 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 can first apply for reinstatement in February 2023, even though he can still appeal the suspension within the next three days. However, it seems unlikely that an appeal will be granted; Ridley will almost certainly miss the upcoming season after already admitting to betting on games — including some played by his own team, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
As a result of this development, it is highly unlikely the Falcons will trade Ridley. They already received some interest earlier during the offseason but did not enter any negotiations.
A first-round draft pick by the team in 2018, Ridley appeared to be on his way out of Atlanta after playing only five games last season due to mental health issues. The Patriots were seen as a potential landing spot given that they are lacking a true number one wide receiver of Ridley’s caliber to pair with quarterback Mac Jones.
Over the first four seasons of his NFL career, Ridley appeared in 49 games and caught 248 passes for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns.