On April 21, the NFL suspended five players for violating the league’s gambling policy. C.J. Moore and Quintez Cephus of the Lions and Washington Commanders defensive end Shaka Toney received indefinite suspensions, and the Lions’ Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill got banned for six games.
Now, the NFL has suspended four additional players for violating the league's gambling policy, meaning a total of nine players have been suspended this offseason for gambling.
The league made an announcement on Thursday, stating that three individuals - former Detroit Lions linebacker Demetrius Taylor, Indianapolis Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers and defensive end Rashod Berry - have been suspended indefinitely.
These suspensions are for the entire 2023 season for betting on NFL games during the previous season. Following the announcement, the Colts released Rodgers and Berry on Thursday, while the Lions had already released Taylor in May after four other players from their team were suspended in April for engaging in gambling activities.
At the same time, offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere of the Tennessee Titans is suspended from the team for six-games for betting on non-NFL games while at a club facility, but he can still engage in offseason and preseason activities including preseason games.
Rodgers and Berry
Rodgers played as a cornerback for the Colts in 45 games and made three interceptions during his three seasons with the team. According to Spotrac, the sixth-round pick out of UMass was expected to make $2.7 million in 2023.
Allegedly, Rodgers would often make small bets, ranging from $25 to $50, but what stands out is a $1,000 prop bet on a Colts running back to run over the total yardage line, which he ended up winning.
Berry is a former outside linebacker from Ohio State who went undrafted. He spent a rookie season with the New England Patriots in 2020 and recorded four tackles. He also had practice squad stints with the Detroit Lions in 2021, and Jacksonville Jaguars in 2022 and recently signed with the Colts in January as a free agent. He was predicted to make $940,000 in the upcoming season.
Here's what Colts general manager Chris Ballard has to say about the situation:
We have made the following roster moves as a consequence of the determination that these players violated the league's gambling policy. The integrity of the game is of the utmost importance. As an organization we will continue to educate our players, coaches, and staff on the policies in place and the significant consequences that may occur with violations.
did make bets inside an NFL facility which is a violation of the policy.
The star offensive tackle from Ohio State started 16 games for the Tennessee Titans last season and has a base salary of nearly $953,000 for the upcoming season. It comes as a surprise that such a promising prospect would risk his future for a bet, but Petit-Frere maintains that he was aware it was a breach of the policy.
The betting I engaged in was NOT NFL related and was legal under Tennessee law. It is only being sanctioned because it occurred at the Titans facility. I did not knowingly break the rules, Even after attending a league presentation, I was unaware about the specifics around placing bets from a team facility.
The three players suspended indefinitely are able to apply for reinstatement to the league at the end of the 2023 season. Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended indefinitely last year and missed the entire 2022 season, but was reinstated in March this year. So these suspensions do not mean the end of the players' careers, but they could severely impact their progress in the NFL.
(Header Image Credit: George Walker IV - USA TODAY Sports)