JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley has applied to the NFL to be reinstated from his indefinite suspension for gambling, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Wednesday was the first day Ridley was eligible to apply for reinstatement. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will review Ridley’s petition and make the determination whether to allow the former first-round pick back on the field.
The Jaguars traded for Ridley on Nov. 1 – sending the Atlanta Falcons a 2023 fifth-round pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2024 that could rise as high as a second-round pick if the Jaguars sign Ridley to an extension. Should he be reinstated Ridley would be paid a guaranteed $11,116 million in 2023 as the fifth-year option from the rookie deal he signed with the Falcons after being drafted 26th overall in 2018.
Ridley hasn’t played in an NFL game since Oct. 24, 2021. Ridley left the Falcons seven days later and said in a statement that he “needed to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental well-being.”
Ridley was suspended for at least the 2022 season on March 7 after an investigation found that he bet on NFL games over a five-day stretch in November 2021 while he was away from the Falcons. A league source told ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter in March that the league determined that Riley placed parlay bets that included the Falcons to win via his mobile device out of state.
In a series of tweets after the suspension was announced Ridley admitted he bets totaled $1,500 but said he doesn’t have a gambling problem.
Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson and GM Trent Baalke have said multiple times since the trade that they felt confident that Ridley would eventually be reinstated.
Ridley, 28, had 248 catches for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 games with the Falcons, including 90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020. If he’s able to play at a similar level to what he did in 2020 (90 catches for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns) the Jaguars could have one of the best offenses in the NFL.
The Jaguars signed receivers Christian Kirk (four years, $72 million, $37 million guaranteed) and Zay Jones (three years, $24 million, $14 million guaranteed) and tight end Evan Engram (one year, $9 million) to free-agent contracts last March and all three set career highs in receptions and receiving yards.
The Jaguars finished 10th in the NFL in scoring (23.8 points per game), passing (232.9 yards per game) and total offense (357.4 per game) in 2022.