Gambling

NFL Reinstates Isaiah Rodgers After Sports Betting Ban

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Posted on: April 24, 2024, 10:24h. 

Last updated on: April 24, 2024, 11:01h.

The NFL has reinstated Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Isaiah Rodgers after the 26-year-old served a one-year suspension for violating the league’s sports betting rules.

Isaiah Rodgers NFL sports betting gambling policy
Isaiah Rodgers has been reinstated by the NFL after serving a yearlong suspension for violating the pro football league’s sports betting policy. Rodgers was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles last summer after he was released by the Indianapolis Colts amid the gambling scandal. (Image: AP)

Rodgers was banned from pro football a year ago after a league probe found that the then-Indianapolis Colts player placed bets through a legal online sportsbook in Indiana. The Colts cut Rodgers after his suspension was handed down. The Eagles signed the free agent in August.

Rodgers’ reinstatement allows him to immediately resume all team activities in Philadelphia. The Eagles and the rest of the NFL are readying for the NFL Draft that begins on Thursday night.

Rodgers is one of more than a dozen players who have been suspended since 2018 for violating the league’s gambling policy. The regulations prohibit all team members, referees, and front-office staff from betting on any NFL game regardless of whether they’re directly participating or involved.

An investigation last year determined that Rodgers made over 100 bets on NFL games, including a prop bet on Colts running back Jonathan Taylor that won $1,000. Rodgers was never determined to have thrown or tried to fix a game, but he did bet on his team winning and Taylor rushing for more yards than the total oddsmakers had for his over/under.

Rodgers’ Explanation

Rodgers played critical minutes for the Colts during his three seasons. He played 45 games in Indy in which he recorded 90 tackles and three interceptions. He also returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown.

Rodgers told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” in February that he wasn’t gambling on NFL games. He alleges that he instead placed bets for family and friends living in Florida where sports betting wasn’t yet legal.

I was just trying to help out family and friends knowing that it wasn’t legal at the time in Florida and it was in Indiana,” Rodgers said.

Pressed as to whether he ever bet on sports before, Rodgers answered, “No.” He also told “OTL” that he doesn’t have a gambling problem.

The NFL review found evidence that Rodgers’ online sportsbook account made at least 100 wagers, with most bets ranging from $25 to $50. The player conceded those facts, but said most of the wagers were on “crazy parlays … trying to make a crazy amount.”  

Rodgers acknowledged that, in hindsight, his willingness to place the bets on behalf of his friends and family “was a huge mistake.”

Game Integrity 

Legal sports betting in the US is more widespread than ever, and that’s heightened concerns about game integrity among officials of the “big four” — the NFL, MLB, the NBA, and the NHL.

The NBA recently took the drastic step of issuing Jontay Porter a lifetime ban after it was discovered that the Toronto Raptors franchise player tried to fix games and threw a performance for the benefit of bettors. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said there is “nothing more important” than protecting the integrity of the sport, which Porter threatened.

Betting scandals have also recently rocked MLB, most noteworthy being the controversy involving Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter who allegedly stole millions of dollars from his boss to fund his sports betting activity.

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