Earlier in the week, ESPN's Adam Schefter informed fans on Twitter that several football players were about to be handed lofty suspensions for taking part in gambling (which is against NFL policy). Over the past few days, fans of every NFL team have been nervous that they might hear of a prominent player for their team being suspended indefinitely. Fortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers escaped this list unscathed.
On June 29th, Schefter released the list of players who will be suspended as a result of gambling, and the Indianapolis Colts took the biggest hit to their roster for the upcoming season.
Schefter confirms two Colts players, as well as free agent Demetrius Taylor, will be suspended indefinitely through at least the 2023 season for betting on NFL games.
The biggest name on the list, however, is Colts cornerback Isaiah Rodgers. Though he wasn't a full-time starter for Indianapolis, Rodgers is the team's primary kick-return specialist. On defense, Rodgers actually graded out as the fifth-best cornerback in the NFL on 43 percent of defensive stats, according to Pro Football Focus.
In addition to these three players who are suspended indefinitely, Schefter also reports that Titans offensive tackle, Nicolas Petit-Frere is being suspended for six games for violating the league's gambling policy.
It's hard to tell exactly why players choose to violate company policy when they know the potential consequences. Rodgers, in particular, would have had a chance to earn another contract extension with the Colts next offseason. However, the Colts have officially waived both CB Isaiah Rodgers and DE Rashod Berry following the news of their suspensions.
Steelers don't receive any suspensions
Pittsburgh Steelers fans can rejoice knowing that nobody from their organization is going to hurt the team by getting themselves suspended for the 2023 season for gambling. We have seen what type of impact these suspensions have had in the past.
Over the last two years alone, a total of 10 players have been suspended for violating the league's gambling policy. The most notable names were receivers Calvin Ridley (who was suspended indefinitely) and rookie first-rounder Jameson Williams (who was suspended for six games).
The league is cracking down hard here, and it's good to see that Pittsburgh Steelers players are not taking part in betting on games. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief. The next big thing is making sure we can make it through Steelers training camp without any major injuries.