Where do the Atlanta Falcons and suspended WR Calvin Ridley go from here?

Calvin Ridley #18 of the Atlanta Falcons . (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Calvin Ridley #18 of the Atlanta Falcons . (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Many of the questions that surrounded the status of Atlanta Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley have been answered with the news that Ridley will be suspended for at least the entirety of the 2022 season. Ridley was suspended for betting on NFL games after leaving the Atlanta Falcons during the season.

Calvin Ridley stepped away from football to focus on his mental health and well-being. A move that put mental health discussions on the NFL forefront and allowed for continued education on a subject we are all still learning to talk about.

While the team should support Ridley in that his choice to bet on NFL games is a serious one that could result in Atlanta choosing to move on from their star receiver.

Ridley chose to leave his team and focus on something more important than football. That is an admirable decision but in the midst of a good decision, Ridley made one that will haunt him for the rest of his career. A decision that will seemingly cost Ridley at least one full season and could end his tenure with the Atlanta Falcons.

Sports gambling is a fast-growing industry you don’t have to be a sports fan to be aware of that fact.  Ridley’s suspension serves as a warning not only to the NFL but to the sports world that despite the increasing normalcy the integrity of the game will be protected. Those who have any influence or inside information can not and will not be allowed to profit from it.

Since his suspension, Ridley has voiced his thoughts on Twitter attempting to clarify his point of view.

While the initial statement for the NFL indicated Ridley didn’t use any inside information the fact he is an NFL player is information enough. Ridley made a mistake that has ended other athletes’ careers. Pete Rose is the headline example of a player whose great career was changed in the fact his career is often remembered not for the great career he had but for the horrible mistakes he made.

This decision means Calvin Ridley could be done playing for the Atlanta Falcons. It is hard to see Atlanta sticking with Ridley considering the seriousness of the situation. A release would not be at all surprising allowing Atlanta to switch gears and allowing Ridley to start fresh if and when he rejoins the league. Despite Ridley’s promise to come back healthier the best move for Atlanta in this situation is to move on.

Before promising to come back even healthier Ridley stated he wasn’t able to watch football despite placing bets on games. Take from that statement what you will but it is certainly concerning that despite being unable to watch a game he is great at, Ridley was able to place parlay bets.

While an appeal wouldn’t be surprised it is hard to see Calvin Ridley winning any leniency if he does choose to appeal. With an issue this serious the league will be looking to set an example. One that will keep any other player from considering making the mistake Ridley did.

From Atlanta’s perspective, this is a huge loss for a team that is now definitively going to be without Calvin next season. Leaving their roster without one clear answer at the receiver position and taking away any possibility of a Ridley trade and leaving another question mark on the Falcon’s off-season.

Next. Calvin Ridley suspended for the 2022 season. dark