The NFL revealed on Thursday that three more players are facing at least a season-long suspension for allegedly betting on NFL games during the 2022 season. In addition, Nicholas Petit-Frere of the Tennessee Titans received a six-game penalty for allegedly betting on non-NFL sports while at club facilities, according to the league.
The Indianapolis Colts’ Isaiah Rodgers and Rashod Berry, along with free agent Demetrius Taylor, were handed season-long suspensions. The NFL stated that the players would have the opportunity to apply for reinstatement after the conclusion of the 2023 season. Petit-Frere, on the other hand, will be allowed to participate in off-season and preseason activities, including preseason exhibitions.
These suspensions mark the second wave of penalties imposed on players found to be in violation of the league’s gambling policy. In April, players from the Detroit Lions and the Washington Commanders received season-long and six-game suspensions for alleged gambling on NFL games.
“The gambling policy, which is annually reviewed with all NFL personnel, including players, prohibits anyone in the NFL from engaging in any form of gambling in any club or league facility or venue, including the practice facility,” stated the NFL. These suspensions come at a time when legalized sports gambling is gaining momentum across the United States.
While leagues like the NFL were once hesitant about sports betting due to concerns over the integrity of the game, they have gradually embraced it and formed partnerships with sportsbooks. The NFL hired David Highill a year ago to lead the league’s sports betting initiatives.
“Legalized sports betting offers fans another way to engage with their favorite sports,” Highill stated earlier this year when announcing a new coalition promoting responsible sports betting.
In response to the suspensions, the Indianapolis Colts waived Rodgers and Berry, emphasizing the importance of upholding the integrity of the game.
General Manager Chris Ballard stated: “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.”
Titans’ statement regarding Petit-Frere’s suspension indicated their belief in him and his respect for the integrity of the game, while also emphasizing the importance of adhering to league rules and policies. “We have been made aware of Nick’s suspension by the league,” the Titans said Thursday.
The recent news adds to the growing number of gambling-related suspensions during the offseason. The league has made efforts to inform players about its gambling policy, but violations have persisted. Many clubs have terminated players who have violated the policy, with only Petit-Frere, Lions’ Jameson Williams, and Washington Commanders’ Shaka Toney remaining with their respective teams after their suspensions.
The reasons for these gambling-related suspensions have varied, ranging from placing wagers on one’s own team while not participating to betting on non-NFL sports at the club facility. The league noted it aims to maintain the integrity of the game and expects all players to adhere to its policies regarding gambling.