NFL players are supposed to be role models to the rest of society, but that doesn't mean they always live up to expectations. While the current crop of superstars such as Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are clean in the public eye, there are some who have off-field problems.
Many have issues with gambling. Their gambling ranges from betting on games or just spending thousands at a time in the casino.
Here are five players, current and former, who've suffered from gambling problems.
#1 Art Schlichter, Baltimore Colts
The Baltimore Colts drafted Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter with the fourth pick of the 1982 draft. He struggled with gambling addictions throughout his career. He apparently blew his entire signing bonus through gambling, as well as borrowing and taking money from friends to feed his addiction.
Between 1987 and 1992 he was arrested three times for passing bad checks. In a 2007 interview with Outside The Lines, Schlichter estimated he'd stolen over $1.5 million throughout his life.
#2 Josh Shaw, Arizona Cardinals
Cornerback Josh Shaw was suspended by Roger Goodell for gambling on a game back in 2019. Shaw bounced around the league playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals before his suspension.
He was found to have made a four-figure bet in Las Vegas on a three-team parley, including against his current team, the Cardinals.
"At the core of this responsibility is the longstanding principle that betting on games or on any element of a game, puts at risk the integrity of the game, damages public confidence in the NFL, and is forbidden under all circumstances. If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football."
#3 Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons
Arguably the most notorious case of gambling in league history involved Michael Vick. He was found to be part of a dog-fighting gambling ring in 2007. Vick was arrested after the discovery, and was also found to be part of the destruction of 6-8 dogs in the gambling ring.
Vick spent two years in prison for his crimes, and after his release in 2009 he made a comeback to the league with the Philadelphia Eagles.
#4 Terrence Kiel, San Diego Chargers
Former San Diego Chargers safety Terrence Kiel had an extreme problem with gambling. So much so that he was arrested for smuggling codeine-based cough syrup to pay off his debts.
Kiel smuggled the syrup from San Diego to his home state of Texas as it turned out he owed tens of thousands of dollars to multiple casinos.
Sadly, after being released by the Chargers, Kiel was killed in a car crash in July 2008. He was just 27 years old.
#5 Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons
The most recent NFL player with a gambling issue is current Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Ridley was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2022 season after it was discovered he'd been betting on games whilst on leave last campaign.
According to the league, Ridley bet on games in November 2021 over a five-day period. The Falcons receiver had to forfeit his $11.2 million base salary for 2022. Commissioner Roger Goodell said on the suspension:
"For decades, gambling on NFL games has been considered among the most significant violations of league policy warranting the most substantial sanction. In your case, I acknowledge and commend you for your promptly reporting for an interview, and for admitting your actions."
After the ban was announced, Ridley took to Twitter to claim he doesn't have a gambling problem.
Regardless, the ban is in place and Ridley is suspended for the entire 2022 season.
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