Calvin Ridley, you've got company!! That was a cheap shot. Calvin Ridley's suspension was bullshit and we all know it. So glad he's back — and he'll be catching balls from Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville, no less.
You'd think with such a glaring example of how brutal the punishment can be for an NFL player and engaging in sports betting, that would scare off most guys from doing it.
...And then this news drops about four Detroit Lions players and one Washington Commander. Indefinite suspensions for all involved except Jameson Williams and some UDFA from last year named Stanley Berryhill. They each got six games.
It's one of those bits of NFL news where you're just like...
OK so the "rules are rules" point is valid. I get it. The NFL, despite making bazillions of dollars off betting-related advertising and bringing in so much impassioned fan interest via that particular avenue, prohibit their players from betting of any kind. The NFL being hypocritical on an issue! When have we ever seen that before, right? But again, I get it. Life and human beings are full of contradictions big and small, public and private.
Now. The pure logic side of the equation is where I start to get lost. Details are sparse about what sort of betting all the players engaged in. The two Lions who were indefinitely suspended have already been cut. It'd be one thing if any of these dudes bet on their own games and had any impact on their outcomes whatsoever. But they don't. Quintez Cephus had a grand total of two catches in 2022. Shaka Toney has six solo tackles through two NFL seasons. C.J. Moore had 12 total tackles last year.
Eric Woodyard of ESPN.com reported the following: "The NFL noted in its announcement that it uncovered no evidence indicating any inside information was used or that any game was compromised by the players' betting."
OK so…these guys pretty much have zero impact on their respective teams. Yes, they were stupid to bet in the first place. But in the cases of Williams and Berryhill, they didn't even bet on NFL games!
This sucks in particular for Williams, who was coming off a torn ACL and barely played as a rookie. Dude is electric on the football field and had a stupid lapse in judgment. You can't be doing that after the Lions traded wayyyy up in the draft to get you.
Interesting find by MySportsUpdate Ari Meirov:
Detroit GM Brad Holmes knew something was up. Imagine being so thrilled that you landed a playmaker of Williams' caliber, only to see him fuck up like this. Woof, man.
I guess there are worse offenses to be suspended for in the grand scheme of things. Nevertheless, you have to question Williams' decision-making outside the lines after a boneheaded move like this.
Obligatory reminder: We still live in a world where NFL players can't wager their hard-earned wealth on little bitty sports bets without leveraging inside information, lest they get severely punished. Meanwhile, scumbags like Deshaun Watson get $230 million guaranteed and an 11-game suspension. The league office labeled Watson's behavior toward many, many women variations of "predatory."
So we're still cool with all that, Roger Goodell? Alrighty then.