Calvin Ridley Suspended Entire 2022 NFL Season: Deshaun Watson gets 6-Game Punishment

The NFL has caused itself some real issues lately with its approach to punishments, and the world was waiting with bated breath to see how they approached the Deshaun Watson situation. This was the league that banned Tom Brady for four games for potentially deflating footballs and Calvin Ridley for an entire season for taking advantage of NFL Vegas Odds when players are not allowed to gamble, so a precedent had been set.

Over the offseason, Deshaun Watson was accused of over 25 separate allegations of sexual assault. Most of these allegations came from massage therapists that detailed their painful experiences with Watson. On top of all this, Watson was dealt to the Cleveland Browns despite being under investigation. The NFL and the Browns faced backlash from the entire country for allowing Watson to be a part of any headlines or trades in the midst of these allegations. 

Since the beginning, Watson has repeatedly denied all accusations against him. Up to 20 women have settled with Watson through court via financial compensation. After months of investigation through the NFL and associated agencies, Watson was handed a 6-game suspension for the upcoming 2022-2023 NFL season in response to the allegations. Watson has the choice to appeal the ruling but it isn’t likely. The mere 6-games is seen as a slap on the wrist to people around the league. 

Some think he shouldn’t have seen any sort of suspension due to the fact of no evidence was presented by any of the woman involved. It is tough to choose a side in this situation, as it really his word against their word.

Another suspension has been handed down by the NFL in recent days. Calvin Ridley is a star wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. When he decided to take a break from football in the middle of the 2021 season, he seemed to get himself into some trouble. He was found to have wagered thousands of dollars in bets on NFL games. Whether he was playing or not, the NFL has an extremely strict code of no gambling. Allegations first arose and Ridley played down the rumors. He claimed to have spent around $1,500 in sports bets. However, findings from the investigation discovered that number to be much higher. With all that being said, the NFL has announced to suspend Ridley for the entire upcoming NFL season. 

This comes as a shock to the entire football community, especially after the 6-game suspension for Deshaun Watson. The announcement leaves fans, coaches, and players with many questions for the high offices of the National Football League. Over time, the NFL has a history of “interesting” rulings when it comes to punishments/suspensions. Josh Gordon was hit with a year-long suspension back in 2015 for a substance abuse violation. Many fans disagreed with the ruling on Gordon, but the rules are the rules.

While many are left concerned with the ethics of the NFL, Deshaun Watson is eligible to appeal his suspension. He has the choice to appear in court and attempt to have his suspension lowered. With a lighter punishment, it would be surprising to see him take this route. Watson will be a big part of the Cleveland Browns offense, where he was recently acquired over the offseason. 

Baker Mayfield has left Cleveland for the Panthers and Watson was brought in to fill in that gap. However, that plan has been set back by 6 games. It will be interesting to see who the Browns use and how they decide to facilitate their offense without Watson. Calvin Ridley would have been the main target in Atlanta after Julio Jones was traded to the Buccaneers. Ridley, the University of Alabama product, has an extremely bright future ahead of him in the NFL. He put up 10 touchdowns in his rookie season of 2018 and had 1,300+ yards receiving in 2020. 

As you can tell, Ridley was expected to have a breakout season in the upcoming NFL season. The storyline has changed and the Falcons will be without one of their biggest pieces for the whole season. Some drastic adjustments are going to be made in Atlanta and Cleveland in the upcoming weeks. Both offenses now have a huge hole they must fill with pre-season games lurking in the upcoming weeks. However, the 4-5 pre-season games will allow both teams to test the waters with new game plans and strategies.

Both the Browns and the Falcons have been in a rebuilding-type phase recently. These suspensions only push things back even further. Changes like this put coaches on hot seats and fans on edge. The NFL season starts soon and these coaches are scrambling for new ideas.

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