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NFL Suspends Five Players for Betting, Three Indefinitely

Written by: Michael Savio
Published April 23, 2023
4 min read

The NFL has dealt with a lot of conspiracy theories talk about being rigged or scripted. While the NFL has never directly addressed those concerns, but the league has taken anything that could be seen as evidence for the “scripted” talk very seriously. Last season we saw the Falcons (now Jaguars) star wide receiver Calvin Ridley suspended for the entire season for betting on the NFL.

After an investigation, the league has suspended five players, Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, Stanley Berryhill, Jameson Williams of the Detroit Lions, and Shaka Toney of the Washington Commanders. 

Indefinite Suspensions

Three players have been suspended indefinitely, Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, and Shaka Toney. This means each player will be suspended for the entire 2023-2024 NFL season and then apply for reinstatement, just as Calvin Ridley had to do after last season. 

The Detroit Lions released Quintez Cephus and C.J. Moore immediately after the news broke. It is doubtful, as both players were role players/bottom of the roster guys that either play in the NFL again. 

While the Washington Commanders Shaka Toney was also suspended indefinitely, it appears the Commanders will be hanging onto him for now. These three players' suspensions were indefinite because they were betting on NFL games.

Six Game Suspensions

Former 1st round pick Jameson Williams and Stanley Berryhill, who was undrafted and going into his second season, received six-game suspensions. The reason for the shorter suspensions? Neither player bet on NFL games but were sports betting from within an NFL facility which is against league policy.

Williams and Berryhill's suspensions are slightly more forgivable, and the question arises, did either player realize they were violating league policy? The question of the league policy being reasonable is also a fair one. 

It is evident that regardless of whether a player is inside a team facility, at home, or even in Las Vegas, not betting on NFL games is a good policy. But to suspend players that bet on, say, the NBA or MLB while inside a team facility but would not have gotten suspended if they placed those wagers from home is a little head-scratching.

Jameson Williams Agency, Alliance Sports released a statement on Williams's behalf saying. 

  • "Jameson takes full responsibility for his actions and is very apologetic to the NFL, his teammates, and the fans and city of Detroit." 

The Statement continued clarifying what Williams was doing. 

  • “However, it is important to note that Jameson's violation was not for betting on football but rather due to a technical rule regarding the actual location in which the online bet was placed -- and which would otherwise be allowed by the NFL outside of the club's facility. Jameson would never intentionally jeopardize the integrity of the game he loves so much and looks forward to getting back to his team as soon as possible."

How it Affects the Lions Team Odds

Get this, the Detroit Lions have the best odds to win the NFC North next season. Yes, read it again the Detroit Lions have the best odds to win the NFC North next season. As shocking as that may be, the Lions ended the season strong, finishing just one game out of a playoff spot. 

The Lions have not won the NFC North since 1991, and now being in the spotlight for having four players suspended by the NFL is not a good look. Even after the suspensions, the Lions are still the betting favorite, but Jameson Williams was supposed to have a breakout season and be a big playmaker for Detroit this season. 

While that could still happen, it won’t happen until game seven of the regular season. As a rookie, Williams missed most of the season recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in his final college season at Alabama. Williams needs to have a good last 11 games after his suspension before he gets hit with the bust label, and right now, he is not trending in the right direction.

Image for Michael Savio

Michael Savio

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

Expertise:
Gambling News
MLB
NCAAB
Online Sports Betting
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Political Science
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
3 years
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