NFL suspends four players for gambling violations

ESPNJune 29, 2023, 12:40 p.m. ET4 minutes to read

Isaiah Rodgers and Rashod Perry of the Indianapolis Colts and free agent Demetrius Taylor have been suspended indefinitely — through at least the 2023 season — for betting on NFL games last season.

Additionally, Tennessee Titans offense frontman Nicholas Petit-Farre was suspended six games for betting on other sports in the workplace.

The Colts then announced that both Rodgers and Berry were waived as a result of their suspensions.

General Manager Chris Ballard said, “The integrity of the game is of the utmost importance. As an organization, we will continue to educate our players, coaches, and staff about the policies in place and the significant consequences that may occur with violations.” statement.

More than 100 bets have been placed on the online sportsbook account used by Rodgers, sources familiar with the activity on the online sportsbook account used by Rodgers told ESPN’s David Purdum Thursday, including at least one on a game involving the Colts. A source told ESPN that Rodgers’ friends, who were in Florida, encouraged him to place several bets, most of them between $25 and $50. Legal sports betting was not available in Florida last football season. The largest bet placed by the account was a $1,000 prop bet on an over/under rushing yard by the Colts running back, which won.

A league source told Purdum that the NFL’s investigation into gambling violations found no evidence of any game manipulation.

Rodgers, 25, admitted to the situation on social media earlier this month, saying he takes “full responsibility” for his actions.

In a statement to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Petit Frere said Thursday, “The bet you participated in was not related to the NFL and was legal under Tennessee law. They were only penalized because it occurred at a Titans facility.”

“I want to apologize to my family, coaches, teammates and Titans fans. At every stage of my life I have always strived to follow the rules. I never intentionally broke the rules. Even after attending a major league show, I was unaware about the ins and outs of placing bets from a team facility.

“I will do everything I can to help the team during training camp and will be ready when I get back on the roster during the season.”

“We believe in Bank and know it deeply respects the integrity of the game and our organization,” the Titans said in a statement. “We will continue to stress to our players the importance of understanding and adhering to league rules and policies.”

Rodgers, a cornerback, was seen as an important part of the Colts’ defense following the departure of the latter’s veteran Stephon Gilmour, who was traded to the Dallas Cowboys earlier this season. Rodgers has started nine games in 2022. He has also been a major contributor on special teams, averaging 27 yards per kick in his career.

Rodgers’ exit would immediately put pressure on Julius Prentice’s second-round selection.

Berry, 26, was signed to the Colts active roster in January from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad. He was expected to be among the many Colts defensive linemen fighting for a spot on the roster. He appeared in eight regular season games, most recently in 2021 when he appeared in five games for the Detroit Lions. He also appeared in three games for the New England Patriots in 2020.

A defensive tackle, Taylor, 24, played last season with the Lions and appeared in one game.

The Titans selected Petit-Frere, 23, in the third round of the 2022 draft. He got the right job during training camp and made 16 appearances last season.

An ankle injury prevented Petit-Farrier from starting the Week 17 game against Dallas as the Jaguars were in contention for the AFC Championship. Petit-Frere played on 97% of his offensive snaps last season when he was active. He committed eight penalties and had a win rate of 84.2.

Earlier this year, four Lions players and one Washington Commanders player were suspended by the NFL for gambling violations. Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus and safety CJ Moore have been suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games, as has defensive leaders Shaka Toney. Detroit wide receivers Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill were suspended six games each for mobile betting that took place at the Lions’ Allen Park facility.

The Lions then released Cephus, Moore, and Berryhill.

Last year, then-Atlanta Falcons player Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games over five games while he was away from the team. He was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the November trade deadline and brought back in March.

The NFL said last week that it intends to strengthen its players’ gambling policy. All rookies will now be required to attend compulsory education sessions, and a group of league officials are making in-person visits to team facilities to confirm and clarify prohibited activities amid the rapid spread of sports gambling.

The six “fundamental rules” of the gambling policy that league officials will stress are:

  1. Don’t bet on the NFL.

  2. Do not gamble at your team’s facility, while traveling to play on the road or staying at a group hotel.

  3. You don’t have someone betting on you.

  4. Do not share “insider information” team.

  5. Don’t enter a sportsbook during an NFL playing season.

  6. Don’t play fantasy football everyday.

At least eleven players, one assistant coach and an undisclosed number of league personnel have been suspended for violating the NFL’s gambling policy since 2018, when the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law that restricted regulated betting primarily to the state of Nevada. Since the Supreme Court’s decision, 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have launched legal betting markets.

ESPN’s Toron Davenport and Stephen Holder contributed to this report.

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