Waiting to see extent of betting

We have seen several sports betting scandals (though we’re using the word “scandals” loosely for now) involving players and coaches in recent weeks. The latest: the NFL is investigating Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers for possibly violating the league’s gambling policy. And by his reaction, it certainly sounds like he did.

Sports Handle originally broke the news Monday night, but at initial publishing, the identity of the player under investigation for “pervasive” wagering activities, including bets on his own team, was unknown. ESPN reported that it was Rodgers a short time later.

According to ESPN’s sources, an “associate” of Rodgers opened a sportsbook account and ended up placing about 100 bets, mostly in the $25-$50 range. No other information has been made public yet, though at price points that low (at least one bet is said to be in the low-four-figure range), it is doubtful that Rodgers did anything to impact games so he could win his bets.

Rodgers is entering the last year of a four-year, $3.4 million contract.

While the investigation is ongoing, it does appear that Rodgers is guilty of violating the NFL’s gambling policy to at least some degree. On Monday night, he posted a statement on Twitter, saying, “I know I have made mistakes and I am willing to do whatever it takes to repair the situation. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to be a distraction to the Colts organization, my coaches, and my teammates. I’ve let people down that I care about.

“I made an error in judgment and I am going to work hard to make sure that those mistakes are rectified through this process. It’s an honor to play in the NFL and I have never taken that lightly. I am very sorry for all of this.”

Gambling violations increasing

Just a couple weeks ago, ESPN’s David Purdum reported that the NFL was investigating a “second wave” of potential gambling violations, so this could be one of them. Among the “first wave” was the suspension of five players in April for sports betting. Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus, Lions safety D.J. Moore, and Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney were suspended indefinitely – meaning at least a year – for betting on NFL games. Lions wide receivers Stanley Berryhill and 2022 first-round draft pick Jameson Williams were each suspended six months for placing sports bets from a team facility, even though the wagers were not on NFL games.

In March 2022, the league suspended Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley for betting on NFL games. Using a mobile app in Florida while he was away from the team, Ridley made three parlay bets, all involving the Falcons to win. He later said the bets totaled $1,500.

Ridley was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in November 2022 and reinstated by the NFL this March.

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