The Jacksonville Jaguars have received a boost with wide receiver Calvin Ridley being officially reinstated following his March 2022 ban for betting on NFL games during the 2021 season. Ridley was eligible to petition for reinstatement after Feb, 15th 2023.

What NFL rules did Ridley breach?

Ridley was found, while competing for the Atlanta Falcons, to have placed bets during a five-day period in November 2021 while he was away from the first team squad. He was found to have used his personal phone to place parlays, including his team the Falcons over the aforementioned time period. The total amount wagered was $1,500.

The league’s investigation found no inside information was used, or that any game was compromised from an integrity point of view. There was also no evidence found of coaches, staff, teammates or other players knowing of Ridley’s wagers.

Ridley, a former first-round pick was part of a trade-deadline deal between his current team Jacksonville Jaguars and the Atlanta Falcons back in November. The deal, conditional on his reinstatement included a 2023 fifth-round pick, plus a 2024 selection based upon performance related aspects.

Jacksonville Jaguars are based in Florida, where FL sports betting is not legal. He returns from Atlanta Falcons (Georgia) where Georgia sports betting is also not legal, and legislature for 2023 has just died in the house.

Is this a first for the NFL?

There have been a number of suspensions since the repeal of PASPA for betting related offences, with Josh Shaw of the Arizona Cardinals in 2019. The most recent suspension was Miles Austin III, the New York Jets coach who was suspended in December and will also miss at least a year of NFL action.

“The Jaguars organization is aware of the NFL’s ruling to reinstate Calvin Ridley,” the team said in a statement on Monday. “We look forward to building a relationship with Calvin as both an individual and as a player. Calvin is a proven playmaker and we are excited to see him compete among and with his new teammates, first during our Offseason Program in April and ultimately into the 2023 season, as we collectively pursue a championship for Jacksonville.”

“Today’s reinstatement by the NFL brings an end to a challenging chapter of my professional career, one that was self-inflicted and began with an isolated lapse in judgement,” Ridley said in a statement on Monday. “I have always owned my mistakes and this is no different. I have great respect for the game and am excited for the opportunity 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.”